YouGov has conducted a nationwide poll on behalf of Orygen, canvassing 2,000 voters to gain an insight into their attitudes and priorities in the lead up to the federal election on 21 May. Here’s a snapshot of the findings:
Poll results at a glance
The poll revealed 80 per cent of Australian voters believe mental health should be a top priority for the next federal government. For a report on the key findings, go to:
Report: Australia's attitudes to youth mental health
More than 1500 Australians aged 12 to 25 are diagnosed with a mental illness every day but there is a critical lack of services to support them.
Many thousands of these young people have serious mental ill-health but are too unwell for primary mental health services such as GPs and headspace but not unwell enough for in-patient units and other tertiary services.
This lack of services in the youth mental health system is known as the ‘missing middle’.
The missing middle is putting extraordinary pressure not only on distressed young people but also their families, schools and wider communities, as well as frontline mental health services.
The number of young people caught in the missing middle is growing daily and will continue to increase for up to three years due to the mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
If the missing middle service gap isn’t filled, young people with serious mental ill-health will continue to be locked out of education, employment and vital social connection opportunities in ever-greater numbers.
Orygen is calling on the next federal government to step up on this urgent issue and fill the missing middle service gap by funding a network of new services in local communities.
Fixing this major flaw in the mental health system will provide crucial care to tens of thousands of struggling young people and help keep them in school, work and higher education, which also benefits the economy and the community as a whole.
Orygen’s executive director, Professor Patrick McGorry, said the mental health of youth people was in the spotlight like never before.
“Young people have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is heartbreaking that ten of thousands of young people in Australia today are falling through the missing middle. The next federal government must invest in filling this crucial service gap.”