A new survey has found that mental wellness has declined significantly, with the worst effects found among the young.
The 2020 Mental State of the World report was released on 15 March 2021, and presents the responses of 48,000 people across eight countries, including more than 3500 Australians, who were asked to rate their mental wellbeing.
More than one in four Australian adults reported their mental wellbeing levels were “at risk” or “clinical” in 2020.
Notably, though, the crisis was particularly pronounced among young adults aged 18–24, with more than 40% rating themselves at risk or clinical in terms of mental wellbeing, compared to 6% for those 65 and over.
“It’s not surprising to see that more than 40% of young Australians reported their mental health and wellbeing was impacted to a level found to be ‘clinical’ or at ‘at risk’,” Black Dog Institute chief scientist Helen Christensen, an international advisor on the report, has told The Australian.
“It must be remembered that this work measures mental distress and is not a measure of mental illness. People can feel mental distress without having a mental illness.
“My sense is that young people have been really affected by the disruption in their lives, more so than the threat of the disease itself.”
“It has been the social disruption, the lockdowns, the uncertainty, the school closures that have weighed on people.”
The inaugural report was compiled by Sapien Labs — a nonprofit that works to understand the human mind. United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, India, Singapore and South Africa were the countries surveyed. The Report provides a snapshot of what Sapien founder Tara Thiagarajan calls “mental wellbeing — the full breadth of your emotional and social and cognitive function and capability.”
Download the full 2020 Mental State of the World report