Mental health issues are the leading cause of disability in adolescents aged 15–19 years in all the world's regions, contributing 45% of their overall burden of disease. Early intervention to prevent mental health disorders is crucial to suicide prevention and to improve lifelong wellbeing. In April 2017, Mission Australia, in association with the Black Dog Institute (a research institute based in New South Wales) published the 5th Youth Mental Health Report. A survey of 21 000 Australian adolescents recorded 22·8% of young Australians meeting the criteria for probable serious mental illness (PSMI), as assessed by the Kessler 6 measure of non-specific psychological distress. Adolescent girls were almost twice as likely than boys to meet the criteria for PSMI. A significantly higher proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander responders met the criteria for PSMI (31·6%) than non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.
Vol. 389, No. 10080, p1670, 29 April 2017