Young people have put the spotlight on mental health in a new survey, naming it as one of the top three issues facing Australia.
Mission Australia’s Youth Survey this year found concerns about mental health across the country have doubled since 2011.
About 22,000 young people aged 15 to 19 took part in the survey and more than 20 per cent cited mental health as among their top national issues.
Alcohol and drugs was cited as their top concern, followed by equity and discrimination.
Mission Australia chief executive Catherine Yeomans said concerns about mental health were at their highest level in the survey’s 15-year history.
Results ‘not surprising’ for many
The results did not surprise 19-year-old Savannah van der Veer, who has managed depression and obsessive compulsive disorder for more than a decade.
“People don’t take you seriously, they just assume all children are kind of moody and unusual — they do strange things that don’t make sense,” she said.
“But I was really suffering and I didn’t really know how to talk about it and I didn’t really know that what was happening to me wasn’t normal.”
– Mazoe Ford