4433.0.55.004 - Psychological Disability, 2012  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 09/02/2015  First Issue
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9 February 2015
Embargo: 11.30 am (Canberra time)

Psychological disability on the increase

The number of people with a psychological disability has increased between 2009 and 2012, according to a report released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

"In 2012, just over three-quarters of a million Australians reported having a psychological disability," said Michelle Ducat from the ABS, "this is up from 600,000 Australians in 2009."

“Two-thirds of all people with a psychological disability also reported having a physical disability.” said Ms Ducat.

"Nearly half said they had 'profound levels of core activity limitation', meaning they were limited in activities such as self-care, mobility or communication, while one in five reported severe limitations."

"Given these findings, it's not surprising that the majority of people with a psychological disability reported needing assistance or had difficulties in daily life, but for the people who said they needed assistance, almost all reported that their need was met in some way," said Ms Ducat.

The survey also found that people with psychological disability had lower participation rates in education and employment compared with people with no disability.

The article draws on results based on the responses of nearly 80,000 Australians to the 2012 Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers.

Further information is available in Psychological Disability, Australia 2012 (cat. no. 4433.0.55.004) available for free download from the ABS website.

Media notes:
  • When reporting ABS data the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS) must be attributed as the source.
  • Media requests and interviews - contact the ABS Communications Section on 1300 175 070.