Mental Health Facts & Statistics

Mental illness is highly prevalent in Australia today, and for workplaces it’s a leading cause of sickness, absence, reduced performance and long-term work incapacity. It also presents safety concerns and impacts on organisational success. Positive mental health is important to overall wellbeing, social and economic participation, reaching individual potential and overall life outcomes.

1 in 5 Australians

experience a mental illness in any given year.


50% of Australians

will experience an episode of mental ill health over their lifetime.

Mental health facts and statistics

  • Mental health is about more than just mental illness. It’s about wellness and building resilience and wellbeing to reach potential.
  • Common forms of mental illness include anxiety and mood disorders like depression, however mental illness is complex and takes many forms.
  • Beyond diagnosable mental illness, many factors can impact on mental health. These include physical health; workplace stress; financial pressures; family violence; relationship problems; addictions; illness or disability; identity issues; trauma; and loss or grief.
  • Stigma remains a leading barrier to adequate diagnosis of mental illness, help seeking and support.
  • Some employees face struggles and challenges in their personal life or have a mental illness that will affect their work, while for others, work is a cause of mental distress.
  • Factors that contribute to positive wellbeing can include strong relationships; supportive environments; opportunities for growth; good physical health (healthy diets, good exercise habits, adequate water consumption, and enough sleep); social participation and work/life balance; and connection to support networks.
  • Every workplace has an ethical and legal obligation to provide fair and safe work conditions.

Learn more about OzHelp programs

How workplaces can support mental health

Make a physically and mentally healthy workplace a strategic priority in the overall wellbeing and support of staff.

  • Empower and support employees to grow their knowledge, skills and protective factors through mental health education and awareness.
  • Facilitate opportunities to develop healthy behaviours and protective factors, and look for opportunities to reduce workplace stressors.
  • Increase workplace mental health literacy, positive conversations and connections to overcome barriers and stigma relating to mental illness and help seeking.
  • Implement screening tools that help to identify health and wellbeing issues being faced by staff and follow up with options for support.
  • Gain access to data and benchmarking information to track the mental, physical, social and emotional wellbeing of your workplace and compare the wellbeing of your workplace with similar organisations.
  • Understand how mental illness and wellness impact your business and your staff, and take steps that will lead to healthier, happier, safer and more productive environments.


Learn more about OzHelp programs

OzHelp’s role in supporting mental health

Through OzHelp’s tailored and holistic workplace programs, we engage with workplaces across industries to provide practical, evidence-based support options for employers and staff. We focus on high risk and hard to reach industries and community cohorts – reaching people who may otherwise not get the support they need.

  • Our programs include an embedded mix of options:
  • Health and wellbeing screening;
  • Training and education workshops;
  • Face-to-face and telephone counselling; and
  • Referral pathways to other professional care.
  • Priority industries and communities include:
  • Blue collar, male dominated industries with high rates of mental distress and ill health;
  • Professions with prevalence of trauma;
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities;
  • Regional, rural and remote communities – including farming and drought affected areas; and
  • Any industries or workplaces at heightened risk of suicide or mental ill health.


Learn more about OzHelp programs

Contact OzHelp

Connect with us to learn more about our training, health promotion initiatives and support programs.

View our Privacy Policy.