Skip to content
Medical Health Aged Care, Mental Health

Psychiatrists raise alarm over new ABS findings on mental health disorders, call for more hands on deck

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists 2 mins read

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) are calling for immediate action to combat Australia’s severe psychiatry workforce shortage, following the release of new data by ABS today that shows one in five Australians experienced a mental health disorder in the previous twelve months.

More than two in five Australians aged 16–85 years have experienced a mental disorder in their lifetime and anxiety disorders are the most common, the analysis shows.

“We can no longer afford to sit back and watch this mental health crisis unfold in the country,” said Dr Astha Tomar, President-elect of the RANZCP.

“These statistics are deeply concerning and highlight the pressing need for federal, state and territory governments to work with clinicians at the front lines to create a comprehensive, long-term workforce planning and resourcing strategy and enact system-wide reform.

“While it is encouraging to see that more Australians accessed mental health support in the past two years, we remain concerned about the burgeoning wait lists and long ED wait times in public hospitals.

"Australia is projected to encounter a gross under supply of psychiatrists over the next decade, which will require not only more training positions but also an increase in the number of trainees. The demand for psychiatrists exceeds supply, leading to a critical shortage that is preventing us from providing adequate care to Australians in need.

"Right now, the mental health workforce cannot keep up with the needs of the community. The system is fragmented, and more people need help than we can provide. For people whose whole profession is about helping people, that's incredibly demoralising."

The National Study of Mental Health and Wellbeing, 2020-2022 report also found that young people experienced the highest prevalence of mental health disorders across all age groups, with mental health disorders surging by more than 50 per cent in the past 15 years among young populations.

"Young Australians, women and those identifying as LGBTQIA+ are disproportionately affected by mental health issues. Federal, state and territory governments must invest in the training and recruitment of more psychiatrists to ensure that our youth and vulnerable populations have access to safe and high-quality mental health care that is timely and effective.

“We know from research that the cheapest and most effective mental health treatment is prevention and early intervention. A delay in treatment increases the chances of an issue becoming more complex, severe, and being harder to treat. We must invest urgently in the workforce to ensure people get the right help at the right time.”


About us:

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists is a membership organisation that prepares medical specialists in the field of psychiatry, supports and enhances clinical practice, advocates for people affected by mental illness and advises governments and other groups on mental health care. For information about our work, our members or our history, visit www.ranzcp.org.

In Australia: If you or someone you know needs help, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or www.lifeline.org.au or the Suicide Callback Service on 1300 659 467 or www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au.

In New Zealand: If you or someone you know needs help, contact Lifeline NZ on 0800 543 354 or www.lifeline.org.nz or the Suicide Crisis Helpline on 0508 828 865 or www.lifeline.org.nz/suicide-prevenPon.


Contact details:

ENQUIRIES: For more information, or to arrange an interview call Dishi Gahlowt on 0437 315 911, or email media@ranzcp.org.

Media

More from this category

  • Indigenous, Medical Health Aged Care
  • 27/02/2024
  • 14:26
Institute for Urban Indigenous Health

Reduction in Indigenous newborn removals by child protection services

Australian research published this month shows women who received care through an innovative Indigenous-led model of maternity care were three times less likely to have their Indigenous newborn removed by child protection services than women who received standard maternity care. The research lands at the same time as the Australian Government’s Closing the Gap 2023 Annual Report which shows the rate of over-representation of Indigenous children in out-of-home care in Australia continues to increase. Kristie Watego, Birthing in Our Community (BiOC) Service Development Manager, Institute for Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH), said the results show it is possible to significantly reduce…

  • Medical Health Aged Care
  • 27/02/2024
  • 09:31
Dementia Australia

Come walk or jog with us in Perth. We are in this together!

The 2024 Perth Memory Walk & Jog is nearly here with the event taking place on Sunday 17 March at Burswood Park, Burswood. Dementia Australia’s largest fundraising event hopes to attract thousands of people across Australia to help raise more than $2 million in support of people living with dementia. Funds raised at our upcoming event in Perth will help advance the work of Dementia Australia which delivers invaluable support, education and resources for people living with dementia, their families and carers. Memory Walk & Jog is about being part of the community and feeling supported. We are in this…

  • Contains:
  • Medical Health Aged Care
  • 27/02/2024
  • 06:05
Royal Australian College of GPs

Medicare doesn’t adequately support access to high-quality care for menopause and perimenopause

The Royal Australian College of GPs (RACGP) says current Medicare subsidies don’t adequately support people experiencing menopause and perimenopause. In a submission to the Senate Community Affairs References Committee Inquiry into the issues related to menopause and perimenopause, the RACGP said longer appointments are essential for high-quality care. RACGP President Dr Nicole Higgins said everyone experiencing menopause and perimenopause deserves access to high-quality care and support. “Menopause is a normal stage of life, but too many women are missing out on the care they need,” she said. “One of the barriers to quality menopause care is patients having enough time…

Media Outreach made fast, easy, simple.

Feature your press release on Medianet's News Hub every time you distribute with Medianet. Pay per release or save with a subscription.