Health minister Greg Hunt has launched the first phase of the $89.5 million 'Intergenerational Health and Mental Health Study – the National Study of Mental Health and Wellbeing'.
Minister Hunt said the survey has the aim of providing an in-depth understanding of the mental health challenges Australians are facing.
He said almost half of all Australians experience some form of mental illness in their lifetime. This mental health challenge has been complicated by the 2019 bushfires and the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The survey will capture, among other things, new information on self-harm, eating disorders and services used by people at risk of suicide. Up to 17,000 Australians, aged 16 to 85 will take part in the study, with the first results expected by the end of 2021.
"It will help us better understand how Australians manage their mental health and how they access support, playing a vital role in the planning and delivery of better local services now and in the future," said Minister Hunt.
This newly launched survey is the first part of a multi-year study involving around 60,000 Australians that will run until 2023. It includes four national studies covering mental health, general health, nutrition and physical activity and biomedical health status.
"Mental health and suicide prevention remains one of our Government’s highest priorities. We have prioritised mental health and suicide prevention services, with record investment in mental health estimated to be $5.9 billion in 2020–21 alone," said Minister Hunt.