The Government has launched the first phase of Australia’s $89.5 million Intergenerational Health and Mental Health Study – the National Study of Mental Health and Wellbeing. This comprehensive survey aims to provide an in-depth understanding of the mental health challenges that Australians are facing.
Almost half of Australians experience some form of mental illness at some point in their lifetime. In addition, the 2019 bushfires and the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have significantly affected the mental health and wellbeing of many people across the country.
The National Study of Mental Health and Wellbeing will provide unrivalled depth to our understanding of these mental health challenges and conditions.
It will capture, among other aspects, new information on self-harm, eating disorders and services used by people at risk of suicide. It will help us better understand how Australians manage their mental health and how they access support, playing a vital role in the planning and delivery of better local services now and in the future.
Up to 17,000 Australians, aged 16 to 85 will take part in the study, with the first results expected by the end of 2021.
The work is the first part of the Intergenerational Health and Mental Health Study, a multi-year study of approximately 60,000 Australians which will run until 2023 and provide the most complete picture ever of our health. It includes four national studies covering mental health, general health, nutrition and physical activity and biomedical health status.
The remaining national studies will begin from 2022 after the next Australian Census.
Mental health and suicide prevention remains one of our Government’s highest priorities. We have prioritised mental health and suicide prevention services, with record investment in mental health estimated to be $5.9 billion in 2020–21 alone.
Anyone worried about their mental health, loneliness, finances, family, or other circumstances can contact the Beyond Blue Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service for free advice and counselling on 1800 512 348 or online at beyondblue.org.au. Immediate advice and support is also available through Lifeline (13 11 14) or Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800).