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Report tells the state of our mental health

16 Dec 2015

For the first time, Queensland has a report on the state of our mental health and wellbeing.

It brings together a range of data from State and national bodies and confirms that while Queenslanders use illicit drugs and experience mental health problems at similar levels to other Australians, we have higher rates of suicide, risky alcohol consumption and daily tobacco smoking.

The Queensland Mental Health Commission’s 2015 Performance Indicators report provides the first comprehensive set of measures to benchmark improvements in mental health and wellbeing.

Queensland Mental Health Commissioner Dr Lesley van Schoubroeck said the report contained a mix of good and bad news.

“Improving mental health and wellbeing is not a quick-fix,” Dr van Schoubroeck said. “It requires systemic change and collective actions by all levels of government, the non-government sector, private industry and communities.

“We need to look beyond the health and mental health sectors and include all sectors that influence the social and economic conditions in which Queenslanders live. We’ve seen excellent examples of this in the area of social housing.”

The 2015 Performance Indicators report identified that a greater proportion of Queenslanders living with mental health conditions are unemployed, experience discrimination and have cardiovascular disease – a major risk factor for early death.

In 2014 a slightly higher proportion of Queenslanders (18.7%) reported experiencing a mental health condition than the national percentage (18.2%).

Nearly one in three Queenslanders living with a mental health condition reported experiencing discrimination or unfair treatment.

Dr van Schoubroeck said: “I am disappointed that stigma and discrimination continue to cast a long shadow on the journey to recovery for Queenslanders with mental health conditions. Every one of us can do something about this.

“The indicators in this report align with the outcomes sought in the Queensland Mental Health, Drug and Alcohol Strategic Plan 2014-2019.

"Together with research and the views of those with a lived experience, their families and carers and other stakeholders, this report will help drive and direct future work to improve outcomes for all Queenslanders living with mental health problems, mental illness and problematic alcohol and other drug use.”

Read the Indicators Report