To understand young people's mental health problems, we need to look at the economic and social triggers

12 July 2021

Professor Alex Haslam, from UQ's School of Psychology, was featured in this ABC Online  article about young Australians' mental health and his analysis on the data from the Australia Talks survey. 

Not all of the stories that have come out of the COVID-19 have been of the bad news variety. But one that is concerns the deteriorating mental health of young Australians.

While this has been the focus of considerable debate over the past 12 months, the Australia Talks National Survey 2021 provides us with insight not only into the many facets of this problem, but also into its underlying causes. 

Australia Talks data reveals young people are struggling with their mental health. Here they share what they've learned from seeking help. 

One of the most basic indicators of the scale of this is the increased demand for mental health support from health professionals.

In 2019, 36 per cent of all Australians and 48 per cent of those aged 18-24 indicated that they had sought out this support.

By 2021 this figure had risen to 39 per cent of all Australians, but almost all of this increase was accounted for by surging demand on the part of young people.

Last year, 58 per cent — nearly three in five — of Australians aged 18-24 discussed their or a loved one's mental health with a health professional.

The survey's findings also provide insight into the things that have led young people to seek out this professional help. The most striking is a growing sense of anxiety.

Read the full article