Author(s): Reavley NJ, Cvetkovski S, Jorm AF, Lubman DI
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To provide a more detailed analysis of the relationship between type and severity of mental disorders (substance use, anxiety and affective disorders) and help-seeking in those aged 16-24 years compared to those aged 25-44 and 45-85 years. METHOD: Data from the National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing (NSMHWB) which was conducted in 2007. The survey sample comprised residents of private dwellings across Australia aged 16-85 years. RESULTS: More than one in four Australians aged 16-24 years experienced a mental disorder in the preceding 12 months. This compared to one in five in those aged 16-85 years. Fewer than one in four 16-24-year-olds with a 12-month mental disorder accessed health services in a 12-month period compared with just over one in three of those aged 16-85. The gap in help-seeking was primarily related to higher rates of substance use disorders and low help-seeking associated with these, particularly in young men. CONCLUSIONS: Findings from the 2007 NSMHWB show that the gap in help-seeking in young people with mental health problems is largely due to high rates of substance use disorders and the low rates of help-seeking associated with these. In order to address this gap there is a need for better coordination and integration of mental health and alcohol and drug services within primary care settings. Population health approaches that tackle erroneous beliefs about alcohol and related harms and improve overall mental health literacy are also needed.
This article was published in Aust N Z J Psychiatry
and referenced in Journal of Psychology & Psychotherapy