Each year, approximately one out of every 5 Australians will experience a mental illness. One out of five!…that’s 4.626 Million people! The mental illness statistics indicate that if mental illness were a plague, we would be in quarantine and a state of emergency would be called!
Mental illnesses are the third leading cause of disability burden in Australia, and approximately 14% of Australians will be affected by an anxiety disorder in any 12-month period with women being more likely to actually seek help for anxiety and mood disorders. A national survey showed that 35% of people with a mental disorder had used a health service and 29% consulted a GP within the 12 months prior to the survey.
Homelessness, poor health (both mental and physical) and substance abuse all go hand in hand. In many cases, poor mental health and substance abuse can be both a cause and a result of homelessness. The issue of homelessness cannot be addressed, solved or dealt with without looking at the issues of how to deal with poor mental health and substance abuse.
Mental illness in Australia is at epidemic proportions. One in four Australians either currently has or has had a mental health condition. Schizophrenia is on the rise, and affects about one in 100 or between 150,000 and 200,000 Australians (). People with schizophrenia are often unable to participate in normal social events of conversations, and lack sufficient motivation for simple activities like bathing or cooking. Many find themselves homeless.