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Survey shines light on mental health

Posted: 5am 01 Aug 2022

A high number of Redcliffe residents are living with depression, anxiety, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and substance use, according to a recent mental health survey conducted on the peninsula.

Surveyors visited more than 500 Redcliffe households between January and April this year as part of the Assisting Communities through Direct Connection (ACDC) project.

It aimed to talk to residents about their mental health and connect them with wellbeing services in the area, while also gathering feedback on service gaps.

A total of 259 Redcliffe householders opted to complete the survey and share their experiences with mental health and access support.

Most were more than 55 years of age, and one in five were born outside of Australia.

The report found nearly one-third of householders reported they were currently living with a mental health issue (with nearly all having a formal diagnosis).

A high percentage of people in Redcliffe also reported they were diagnosed or living with mental health issues related to trauma.

A large proportion of people who wanted to seek help in the past 12 months reported that they did not get the care they needed. In many cases, this was because they were put on a waiting list, or cost was a barrier.

Tristan Brownson, from Stride Mental Health and Line Manager for the ACDC Project in Redcliffe, says she was not surprised that waitlists and costs were a barrier.

“I am hopeful that the survey results may lead to funding for services in the Redcliffe area, as there are currently too few services for the needs of the community, as indicated by survey results,” Tristan says.

The survey was funded by the Department of Social Services and run by Community Mental Health Australia.

What the report found

Who completed the survey?

  • 250 householders responded.
  • 51 per cent identified as female, 48 per cent as male, and 1 per cent as other.
  • 9 per cent of respondents identified as being Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander.
  • 23.5 per cent of respondents were aged between 65-74.

Householder concerns

Mental health can be shaped to a great extend by the social, economic and physical environments in which people live.

The report found:

  • 68 per cent said housing was their number one concern.
  • 64 per cent said financial stress was their biggest concern.
  • 63 per cent were worried about employment.
  • 58 per cent were concerned about the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • 47 per cent saw alcohol and drugs as a challenge.
  • 40 per cent saw safety as a challenge.

Individual challenges

The respondents were also asked about the issues or challenges they found most affected their lives.

The results found:

  • The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic was the biggest individual concern (45 per cent)
  • Followed by financial stress (24 per cent)
  • Unemployment (21 per cent)
  • Housing (18 per cent)
  • Physical health issues (15 per cent)
  • Social isolation (14 per cent)
  • Discrimination/stigma (12 per cent)
  • Family/relationships (11 per cent)
  • Not having enough food (8 per cent)
  • Alcohol or drug use (7 per cent)

Mental Health issues

Mental Health relates to a person’s social and emotional wellbeing.

  • 31 per cent of householders said they currently had, or were living with, mental health issues.
  • Most of these people (93 per cent) reported they had received a formal diagnosis of a mental health condition.
  • Depression was the most identified mental health condition (78 per cent)
  • Followed by anxiety disorder (64 per cent)
  • PTSD (48 per cent)
  • Complex PTSD (26 per cent)
  • Post-Partum (22 per cent)
  • Bipolar (9 per cent)
  • Personality disorder (6 per cent)
  • Other condition (6 per cent)
  • Eating disorder (5 per cent)
  • Psychosis (5 per cent)
  • Schizophrenia (4 per cent).

Support needs

Many people reported there were multiple barriers to them getting the help they need.

Some of the barriers included:

  • Being put on a waiting list (42 per cent)
  • Cost (39 per cent)
  • Other (36 per cent)
  • Did not know where to get help (28 per cent)
  • Ineligible (17 per cent)
  • Fear/embarrassment/shame (14 per cent)
  • Did not think anything would help (14 per cent)
  • Travel/transport (14 per cent)
  • Prefer to self-manage (11 per cent)
  • No available service (11 per cent)
  • Improved without help (6 per cent)

Digital infrastructure

Of those who took part in the survey:

  • 36 per cent do not have consistent access to internet data with sufficient speed and data
  • 33 per cent do not have access to a computer or other device
  • 23 per cent do not always have a private space to speak to someone online about their mental health
  • 1 per cent do not have access to a mobile phone

Where to get help

If you, or someone you know needs help, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636. 

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