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I would like information about mental health

What is mental illness?

At Flourish Australia we call it “lived experience” because we respect that many people choose not to label their experience as “illness”. However “mental illness” is generally used to describe a group of conditions that can affect the way a person responds to the challenges of everyday life – including how they sometimes think, feel, behave or interact with others.

The term ‘mental illness’ commonly applied to a wide range of conditions such as anxiety disorders, depression, schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder. 

Each year, around 20% of adults living in Australia experience some form of mental health issue.  

Every person’s lived experience is unique and symptoms may vary. Some people experience only intermittent effects while for others, the impact can be more disruptive and long term.

What causes mental illness?

No specific cause has been identified however research points to a combination of environmental, biological and psychological factors.

Mental health facts Australia

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare:

  • 45% of Australians will experience a mental health challenge in their lifetime.
  • Annually, 3.8 million which is 1 in 5 Australians will experience a mental health challenge.
  • Of these, 730,000 Australians experience a mental health challenge which is constant and has major life-limiting impacts.
  • People who have received a diagnosis of psychosis and are being treated, are likely to have poor health outcomes. They are 3 times more likely to have diabetes and 1.5 times as likely to have a heart condition.
  • Poverty, unemployment and homelessness are commonly associated with a constant mental health challenge.
  • People with a constant mental health challenge often experience social isolation, discrimination and stigma.

Read mental health A-Z