Useful statistics

The Mental Health Commission is asked to provide information and statistics on a range of subjects related to mental health and wellbeing, alcohol and other drugs, by the media.

Below is a selection of the key statistics that may be of interest to journalists:

 

Tragically, in 2016, across Australia, 2,866 people died from intentional self-harm (suicide):

  • three out of four (2,151) were male
  • one quarter (715) were female)
  • suicide was the leading cause of death among all people 15-44 years of age, and the second leading cause of death among those 45-54 years of age
  • 371 people were from Western Australia (State of usual residence)

(Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics 2016 causes of death)

 

One in five Australians aged 16 to 85 years experience mental health issues in any given year (i.e. one of the common forms of mental illness - anxiety, affective or mood disorders, and substance use disorders)

(Source: Results from the 2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing, conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics)

 

The 2016 National Drug Strategy Household Survey states, of Western Australians aged 14 years and older: 

  • 37.3% reported drinking alcohol at risky levels for single occasion harm at least once in the previous 12 months;
  • 14.7% reported smoking at least once in the previous 12 months;
  • 11.6% reported using cannabis in the previous 12 months;
  • 3.7% reported using pain-killers/analgesics and opioids for non-medical purposes (excludes over the counter medication) in the previous 12 months;
  • 2.7% had used meth/amphetamine in the previous 12 months; and
  • 0.2% had used heroin in the previous 12 months. (Please note that due to the small sample size Western Australian prevalence estimates for heroin have a high level of sampling error and needs to be interpreted with caution.)

(Source: National Drug Strategy Household Survey 2016)