Intergenerational Health and Mental Health Study (IHMHS)

Intergenerational Health and Mental Health Study

The Intergenerational Health and Mental Health Study (IHMHS) is the largest health study undertaken in Australian history. It will provide the most complete picture we have ever had of the country’s physical and mental health.

Approximately 60,000 Australians will take part in the IHMHS from now until 2024. The information collected by the ABS will support the creation, delivery and evaluation of health policies and research over many years that will enable Australians to live longer and healthier lives.

The IHMHS will include 4 national studies:

  • National Study of Mental Health and Wellbeing
  • National Health Study – including the National Health Survey and the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey
  • National Nutrition and Physical Activity Study – including the National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey and the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey
  • National Health Measures Study – including the National Health Measures Survey and the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Measures Survey.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander information will be released for all components except the National Study of Mental Health and Wellbeing. 

    Intergenerational Health and Mental Health Study diagram.
    This diagram shows the four studies that comprise the Intergenerational Health and Mental Health Study.
    • National Study of Mental Health and Wellbeing
    • National Health Study – including the National Health Survey and the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey
    • National Nutrition and Physical Activity Study – including the National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey and the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey
    • National Health Measures Study – including the National Health Measures Survey and the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Measures Survey.

    The ABS was commissioned by the Australian Government Department of Health to undertake the IHMHS.

    The National Study of Mental Health and Wellbeing commenced data collection in December 2020. The remaining national studies will begin after the 2021 Australian Census.

    See our News section below for more updates.

    Why do we need the IHMHS?

    National health surveys are globally recognised for their important role in monitoring population health status and health risk factors, including trends over time. The IHMHS will provide detailed insights into:

    • The impact of mental and behavioural conditions and other chronic health conditions on Australians;
    • The use of health services and barriers to accessing them;
    • Factors underlying chronic conditions and obesity;
    • Dietary and physical activity habits;
    • Undiagnosed health conditions and nutrition deficiencies;
    • Biomedical factors that contribute to poor health outcomes; and
    • Lived experiences of suicide and related services.

    IHMHS News

    The National Health Survey component of the IHMHS is undergoing field-testing between April and June 2021. Information from this test will be used to inform the next stage of development for the Study.

    For more information about the IHMHS and how the information will be used, visit the Department of Health website.

    An overview of the Intergenerational Health and Mental Health Study was recorded in February 2021 by the Public Health Association of Australia. To view the recording of the presentation visit Events Info - Public Health Association of Australia Inc (phaa.net.au) or for a copy of the presentation slides visit Intergenerational Health and Mental Health Study (phaa.net.au).