Past Issues

Research and Practice in Youth Mental Health: An Australian Perspective

Helen Herrman, Sherilyn Goldstone, Patrick McGorry

Currently, mental health problems account for approximately 45% of the bur-den of disease among the 10-25 year age group world-wide, with one in every four young people experiencing a diagnosable mental disorder each year. Although we all too often accept mental ill-health in young people as a normal part of adoles-cence, this should not be the case. Mental health problems are not a trivial threat; they have numerous negative consequences in both the short and long term. Fur-thermore, there is good evidence to suggest that the distress and disability associ-ated with mental ill-health in young people can extend well into the future. Pro-moting mental wellbeing, and reducing the risk and impact of mental and substance use disorders for young people are therefore an urgent global health, social and economic challenges, which has finally begun to be taken up. Here, we discuss innovative service reforms that aim to improve young people’s access to evidence-based mental health care, with a focus on early and pre-emptive intervention. Ser-vice reforms like these have the potential to greatly improve the mental health, wellbeing, and productivity of young people, and thus our wider society, now, and in the future.
Key Word mental illness, children and adolescents, early intervention, Australia
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