Australian Health Issues Investigation

Topics: Mental disorder, Mental health, Health care Pages: 7 (2487 words) Published: August 22, 2013
Australian Health Issues Investigation 2|
Health Studies|
Bonnie DellWord Count: 1,896|


1) Define the issue:
Mental Health can be described as a person’s sense of psychological wellbeing. It is the capacity to live in a resourceful and fulfilling manner, and having the resilience to deal with the challenges and obstacles life presents. (What is mental health?, 2006) A mental illness or problem is a health problem that significantly affects the way a person behaves, thinks and feels. Mental illnesses are of many different types and severity. Some of the major types are: anxiety, depression, eating disorders, bipolar mood disorder, schizophrenia, and personality disorders. Some of the causes, or risk factors, of mental illness include: long-term and acute stress, biological factors such as genetics, chemistry and hormones, use of alcohol, drugs and other substances, cognitive patterns such as constant negative thoughts and low self-esteem or social factors such as isolation, financial problems, family breakdown or violence. These risk factors can be minimised by: getting enough sleep, eating healthy meals, talking about or expressing ones feelings, exercising regularly, spending time with friends and loved ones, developing new skills, relaxing and enjoying hobbies, setting realistic goals or by talking to your GP or a health professional. (Government of Western Australia, 2010) 2) Relevant Data:

The impact of mental illness within the Australian population has become increasingly apparent. In 2007, 45% of Australians aged 16-85 years, (or 7.3 million people), had at some point in their lifetime experienced a mental disorder. Within that particular survey, women were more likely than men to have had symptoms of mental illness. A higher rate of anxiety disorders among women was the main contributor to this difference. (Feature article 2: mental health, 2013) PROPORTION OF PEOPLE AGED 16-85 WITH A MENTAL DISORDER

According to Mental health FAQ (2013) women were more likely than men to have experienced symptoms of a mental disorder during the previous twelve-months (22% of women compared to 18% of men) and young women reported the highest rates (30% for those women aged 16 to 24). Women were more likely than men to report the symptoms of anxiety disorders during the previous twelve-months (18% of women compared to 11% of men). Women were also more likely to report affective disorders, such as depression (7% of women compared with 5% of men). Men were more than twice as likely to report the symptoms of substance use disorders (7% of men compared with 3% of women). Young men reported the highest rate of substance use disorder, 16% for those men aged 16-24. Mental health disorders were identified as the underlying cause of 6,522 registered deaths in 2009, representing 4.6% of all registered deaths in Australia in that year. In total, 21,384 deaths were due to, or associated with, mental health disorders. The prevalence of mental health disorders as an underlying cause has increased significantly over the last ten years. In 2009, the standardised death rate for mental health disorders was 25.2 per 100,000 of population, an increase from 16.5 per 100,000 population in 2000. In 2009, more than half the deaths due to mental health disorders were females (4,130 or 63%). The median age at death was higher for females at 88.9 years, compared with 84.6 years for males. (Health status, 2012) 3) Health Outcomes:

Physical| Social| Emotional|
-Eating disorders (weight loss/weight gain)-Death -Violence-Self harm-Harm to others-Lower life expectancy| -Family breakdown-Loss of friendships-Bullying-Relationship breakdown-Financial costs-Homelessness| -Frustration -Shame -Helplessness -Humiliation-Anxiety-Depression-Isolation-Stress-Exhaustion-Low self-esteem-Fear-Guilt -Anger|

4) Stakeholders:
Stakeholders in mental health are people or groups with an interest in defining and /or...

References: AIHW. (2013). Mental health. Retrieved 15th June 2013 from:
AIHW. (2013). Mental health FAQ. Retrieved 16th June 2013 from:
AIHW. (2007-08). Mental health services in Australia. Retrieved 16th June 2013 from:
AIHW. (2013). National health priority areas. Retrieved 21st June 2013 from:
Australian bureau of statistics. (2013). Health status. Retrieved 4th June 2013 from:

Australian bureau of statistics. (2013). Feature article 2: mental health. Retrieved June 12th 2013 from:
Government of Western Australia. (2010). What is mental health?. Retrieved 12th June 2013 from:
Hames, K. (2012). Council of Australian Governments National Action Plan for Mental Health 2006-2011. Retrieved 20th June 2013 from: %20Fourth%20Progress%20Report.pdf
Hudson, C. (2005). American psychological association. Retrieved 21st June 2013 from:
Sane Australia. (2010). Treatments for mental illness. Retrieved 23rd of June 2013 from:
World health organisation. (2004). Prevention of mental disorders. Retrieved 18th June 2013 from:
(2006). What is mental health?. Retrieved 6th June 2013 from:
Sane Australia. (2011). Mental illness – family and friends. Retrieved June 6th 2013 from:
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