Around 20% of Aussie adults are affected by some form of mental illness every year, and nearly half (45%) of the population will experience a mental disorder at some stage in their lives.
Just by those figures alone, there’s a fairly high chance mental illness has touched you and/or your mates – but in kinda good news, figures show we’re getting better at talking about it.
The demand for crisis support reached record levels in Australia last year, with Lifeline receiving more than one million requests for help, a record in it’s 52-year history.
Throughout 2015, the 24-hour line received 977,503 individual calls for help, 831,849 of which were answered. They also received 44,470 online chat requests.
The busiest four months for the line were between September to December – the ‘holiday’ period widely considered high-risk for sufferers.
Pete Shmigel, chief executive of Lifeline, reckons that the influx of calls is the result of an increased awareness and acceptance of mental health issues.
“On the one hand, Australians are more aware of mental health issues than they have ever been before,” He told the ABC.
“With every article that’s published on the internet, people get a little bit more confident perhaps and a little competent about talking about their mental health concerns.”
He also mentioned the idea that our increased reliance on technology could, ironically, be increasing our feelings of loneliness, with ‘Strayan’s spending, on average, upwards of 10 to 12 hours online every day.
Of course, mental illness is a nuanced and super tricky thing to talk about, but hopefully by continuing on the discussion, we can take more steps towards feeling less like this little guy:
And more like this:
If you, or a mate, are experiencing anxiety, depression, or suicidal thoughts, give one of these guys a buzz: Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week), Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800, or Lifeline Australia on 13 11 14.
Meanwhile, if you do want to know about treatments for mental health, head on over to Beyond Blue, Black Dog Institute, or Headspace.
Or check out our article on how to spot and talk about depression. Stay safe, mates.
Photo: The Matrix.