It’s safe to say that, over the course of the pandemic, the mental health of Australians has taken a bit of a battering, with lockdowns, COVID anxiety, and personal circumstances all taking their toll for the past few years. And although Australia seems to have come out the other side relatively unscathed, people are still experiencing mental health struggles – that’s why InstantScripts launched their Mental Health Tracker, surveying 1001 Aussies about their mental health symptoms since September 2021.
The Mental Health Tracker is designed to survey a random, independent pool of respondents twice each year, with this report being the first. Through these surveys, InstantScripts hopes to discern patterns and trends among Australians, such as the prevalence of mental health symptoms, the affected demographics, and what factors impact mental health most prominently. With seven questions presented to the group, the survey is simple, yet effective, set to provide a snapshot of mental health bi-annually.
This initial survey, which asked people about the months between September 2021 and March 2022, returned some alarming results: 70% of the surveyed group reported suffering from mental health symptoms, with around a third experiencing sadness that was unrelated to diagnosed depression or a particular incident in their lives. A third again felt isolated and a quarter experienced a feeling of worthlessness, with women consistently comprising the majority of each sub-group.
The silver lining in our mental health survey is that, for a large proportion, much of these symptoms seem to be temporary, based on the current pandemic circumstances. When asked how they rated their mental health on a scale of 1 (extremely poor) to 5 (excellent), three quarters of respondents (72 per cent) chose a 3 (fair) or 4 (good) rating.
Although 70% of people struggled with their mental health, almost half of respondents had never sought professional support; this worrying statistic suggests that there are barriers to mental healthcare, such as accessibility, stigma, or knowledge of what’s available. Dr Andrew Thompson, registered doctor at InstantScripts, emphasises that people experiencing mental health symptoms should speak to their GP or a mental health service to receive support.
As the inaugural InstantScripts Mental Health Tracker shows, there are a lot of people struggling with mental health problems – and while that in itself is bad news, the good news is that if you’re one of those people, you’re not alone. Just as you should see your doctor regularly for physical check-ups, it’s just as important to check in with yourself and with a professional about your mental health to make sure things don’t become overwhelming.
Images Tom Juskevicius
If you liked this article, you might like our podcast about taking care of your mental health with Blokes Psychology.
Much like a lash and brow tint or a professionally applied organic spray tan, new eyewear can seriously lift your look – even if you have 20/20 vision.