Fact Sheets

  • 'Beyond sad - Recognising depression and supporting young people'

    Adolescence and young adulthood is a period of great change and personal growth. There are a number of challenges that come along with this life stage — school and work stress, increasing independence, growing social demands and relationship break-ups are just some of the things a young person may grapple with as they move into adulthood. It is therefore unsurprising that, like all of us, young people can have the occasional mood swing, feel irritable or feel sad. However, sometimes these feelings persist and develop into something more severe, like clinical depression. Perhaps given the increased demands of adolescence, young people are at also an increased risk for developing depression.

  • 'Physical health challenges - The link between physical health and mental health in young people'

    While the majority of young Australians report good physical and mental health, 1 in 4 aged 12–24 years will experience a diagnosed mental disorder every year (1). The onset of mental illness is accompanied by greater risk of poor physical health outcomes later in life, which can be explained in part by lifestyle factors, social consequences of mental illhealth, and barriers in accessing health care. The life expectancy of people with a serious mental illness is about 13–32 years less than the general population (2). The majority of these deaths are due to the development of physical health conditions that could be prevented. Treatment for mental ill-health is often focused on the presenting symptoms (e.g., low mood) and in the process, monitoring of the person’s physical health might be overlooked. A holistic approach to the wellbeing of young people needs to include considerations of both their physical and mental health.

  • 'Understanding Mental Health - From mental wellbeing to mental health problems'

    Adolescence and young adulthood is a period of great change, personal growth and an important time for a young person in terms of how they see and understand themselves, others and their place in the world. The challenges that come along with this life stage are significant — school and work stress, increasing independence, growing social demands and relationship break‑ups are just some of the things a young person may grapple with as they move into adulthood. Given these demands on young people, it can be difficult for professionals who work with young people to tell what is a “normal” part of growing up and what is a sign of a mental health problem.

  • 'When anxiety is a problem - Signs and symptoms in young people'

    Anxiety is more than feeling stressed or worried. Anxious and stressed feelings can be a normal response to upcoming uncertain and stressful situations such as an exam, important sports game or starting a new job. Anxiety is our body’s way of responding to potential threat or pressures, and in small doses can actually help us perform better by keeping us alert and motivated. However these feelings usually pass when the stressful situation is over. Anxiety becomes a problem when the worry or fear is persistent or excessive, and gets in the way of a young person achieving their full potential in areas such as school, work and social relationships