50pct Aussies have suffered mental illness at some point in their lives

March 26th, 2009 - 2:22 pm ICT by ANI  

Melbourne, Mar 26 (ANI): Almost half of the people in Australia have had mental health problems at some point during their lives, according to newly revealed figures.

The latest national snapshot from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) also found that about one in five Aussies has a mental condition in any given year.

The figures also suggested that non-psychotic psychiatric problems, such as mood and anxiety disorders, are even more common.

“Until this year, we always used to say one in five Australians would experience a mental health disorder in their lifetime,” News.com.au quoted Barbara Hocking, executive director of the mental health charity SANE Australia, as telling The Australian.

She added: “With these recent findings, we say it’s one in five in a 12-month period.”

The ABS figures have been drawn on statistics originally published late last year or earlier.

It takes into account substance abuse or dependency, including with alcohol, among the mental disorders on which the finding is based.

The figures show that in 2007, 45 per cent of Australians aged 16 to 85 — equivalent to 7.3 million people — had experienced anxiety, mood or substance-use disorders at some point in their lives.

It was also found that there were slightly more men in that group than women.

And it was largely because more men than women had a substance-use disorder, often related to alcohol.

However, the gender difference was reversed when looking at people who had experienced a mental health problem in the last year.

In that case, women were more likely than men to have had a mental problem, at 22 per cent to 18 per cent. (ANI)

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