ABOUT THIS PUBLICATION
This publication presents a summary of results from the 2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing, conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) from August to December 2007. The survey collected information from approximately 8,800 Australians aged 16-85 years.
The survey provides information on the prevalence of selected lifetime and 12-month mental disorders by three major disorder groups: Anxiety disorders (eg Social Phobia), Affective disorders (eg Depression) and Substance Use disorders (eg Alcohol Harmful Use). It also provides information on the level of impairment, the health services used for mental health problems, physical conditions, social networks and caregiving, as well as demographic and socio-economic characteristics.
Mental health is one of Australia's National Health Priority Areas and funding for this survey was provided by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing. Information from the survey will contribute to research in the field of mental health and assist in the formulation of government policies and legislation.
INTERPRETATION OF RESULTS
The survey used the World Health Organization's (WHO) Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI) for the diagnostic component of the survey. While the survey provides estimates on the prevalence of selected lifetime and 12-month mental disorders, the emphasis of this publication is on 12-month mental disorders.
As the response rate for this survey was lower than expected (60%), extensive non-response analyses were undertaken to assess the reliability of the survey estimates. As a result, adjustments were made to the weighting strategy. As non-response can vary across population characteristics, as well as across data items, users should exercise caution. See Reliability of Estimates in the Explanatory Notes.
COMPARISON WITH THE 1997 SURVEY
The survey was run in 1997 as the National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing of Adults. Due to differences in how the data were collected, data from 1997 are not presented in this publication. See Appendix 2 for further information.
ABS publications draw extensively on information provided freely by individuals, businesses, governments and other organisations. Their continued cooperation is very much appreciated: without it, the wide range of statistics published by the ABS would not be available. Information received by the ABS is treated in strict confidence as required by the Census and Statistics Act 1905. The ABS would also like to acknowledge the extensive support and technical advice provided by Dr Tim Slade and Ms Amy Johnston from the University of New South Wales.
For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.