Mental Health by the Numbers
Message: In Australia, men are three times more likely to die by suicide than women.
Breakdown: In 2018, the rate of suicide in males was three times higher than females. Of the 3,046 suicide deaths across Australia in 2018, 76 per cent occurred in males (2,320) and 24 per cent occurred in females (726). This proportion was also reflected in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, where males accounted for 76.3 per cent of all Indigenous suicide deaths.
Message: Every day in Australia, approximately six men die by suicide
Breakdown: In 2018, an average of 6.3 men died by suicide every day across Australia.
Message: More women than men experience high or very high levels of psychological distress.
In 2017-18, more women than men experienced high or very high levels of psychological distress (14.5% and 11.3% respectively). Women aged 18-24 years had the highest rate of psychological distress of any age group or sex in 2017-18.1
Message: At least one in seven women report experiencing an anxiety-related condition.
In 2017-18, around one in seven women (15.7%) reported having an anxiety-related condition.2
Message: Women report higher rates of depression or feelings of depression than men.
In 2017-18, more women than men reported rates of depression or feelings of depression (11.6% compared with 9.1% respectively).3
Message: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are nearly twice as likely to die by suicide1.
Breakdown: In 2018, 169 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people died as a result of suicide. The five-year trend to 2018 shows that the rate of suicide by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (23.7 death per 100,000 people) is nearly twice that of non-Indigenous people (12.3 deaths per 100,000 people). In 2018, the median age for Aboriginal and Torres St
Islander suicide deaths were 31.8 years of age for males and 26.0 years of age for females.
In 2018, suicide remained the leading cause of death for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people. The age-specific death rate was 8.3 deaths per 100,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, compared to 2.1 per 100,000 for non-Indigenous children.
Message: Indigenous Australians are nearly three times more likely to be psychologically distressed than non-Indigenous Australians.
Breakdown: About a third (31.7%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders experience high to very high levels of psychological distress, indicative of a probable mental health condition, compared to one in eight non-Indigenous Australians (12.3%).2 This means they are 2.6 times more likely to experience high to very high levels of psychological distress than non-Indigenous Australians.
Message: Racism, both perceived and actual experiences, is increasing which affects wellbeing.
Breakdown: 33% Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians have experienced verbal racial abuse in the last 6 months in 2018 compared to 37% in 2016,3 and there is a ‘dose’ effect: the risk of high or very high levels of psychological distress increases as the volume of racism increases.4
Message: Ninety-one per cent of employees believe mental health in the workplace is important. However, only 52 per cent of employees believe their workplace is mentally healthy.
Breakdown: The State of Workplace Mental Health in Australia report surveyed 1,041 employees (a mix of lower management and other employees) and found that although 91 per cent of employees believe mental health in the workplace is important (88% believe physical safety is important). However, only 52 per cent of employees believe their workplace is mentally healthy.1
Message: Businesses receive an average return on investment of $2.30 for every $1 they invest in effective workplace mental health strategies, making investing in mental health a win-win situation for employers and employees.
Breakdown: A 2014 PwC report found that for every $1 employer spend on successfully implementing effective actions around mental health in the workplace, they gain an average of $2.30 in benefits. These benefits are through improved productivity, via reduced absenteeism and presenteeism, and fewer compensation claims.
Message: Almost fifty per cent of employees have left a workplace due to a poor mental health environment, while 60% of employees working in a mentally healthy workplace were more committed to their job.
Breakdown: A study undertaken by Instinct and Reason of 1,025 employees found that almost half those surveyed (45%) have left a workplace because it had a poor environment in terms of mental health. Conversely, the study found that a mentally healthy workplace makes an employee more committed to their job (60% of those currently in such a workplace) and less likely to seek other employment (68%).3
You can find further information at BeyondBlue.
All statistics are from the beyond blue website.