Mental health is defined as ‘a state of wellbeing in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to their community’.1 Therefore, mental health is about being cognitively, emotionally and socially healthy.
This profile compares Wyndham with areas of Greater Melbourne and Victoria on determinants of mental wellbeing, including prevalence of depression and anxiety, social connection and access to psychological services.
All data refers to adults aged 18+ years unless otherwise stated.
Subjective wellbeing describes how a person feels about their life and is comprised of feelings contained in moods and emotions as well as thoughts and judgements.2 On a scale of 0 to 100, people with a high subjective wellbeing score are more mentally and physically healthy, more productive, more cooperative, more pro-social and charitable, have greater coping abilities, and live 4 to 10 years longer than people with low subjective wellbeing.
As shown in the graph below, Wyndham residents reported similar levels of subjective wellbeing to all Victorians in 2015. Wyndham's score decreased marginally between 2011 and 2015, while subjective wellbeing across all Victorians increased by half a point.
Subjective wellbeing (range 0-100), Wyndham and Victoria 2011 and 20153
Factors such as social connection, cohesion and participation promote mental wellbeing and protect against mental illness. As shown in the graph below, more than 50% of Wyndham adults perceive their neighbourhoods as connected places. Compared to adults Victoria wide, proportionally fewer Wyndham adults perceive people as willing to help each other, their neighbourhoods are close-knit, and other people as trustworthy. Furthermore, 42% of Wyndham adults held low levels of support for equal relationships between women and men, compared to 36% of adults Victoria wide.
Factors that affect mental wellbeing, Wyndham and Victoria 20154
The data presented provides insight into how people feel about their life, and whether they can access help if needed.
In 2017, the residents of Wyndham have a higher self-rating of low to medium life satisfaction, lower self-rating for high satisfaction with life and a higher self-rating for very high satisfaction with life when compared to the Western Melbourne and Victoria.
Life satisfaction, Wyndham, Western Metropolitan Melbourne and Victoria 20177
The Australian Burden of Disease of Disease study 2015 has ranked Anxiety the disease with the third highest disease burden and Depression the seventh8. The World Health Organisation estimates that depression will be the number one health concern in both developed and developing nations by 2030.
In 2017, the prevalence of a person ever having a diagnosis of depression and/or anxiety in Wyndham adults (25.9%) was higher than adults living in Western Melbourne (25.0%) and lower compared to Victoria (27.4%). That is, at any one point in time one in four people in Wyndham will be going through a period of depression and/or anxiety. These two conditions are often comorbid, meaning they occur together at the same time. This intensifies the personal experience and can delay the person seeking help.
Psychological distress is measured using the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K10). The K10 questionnaire was developed to yield a global measure of psychological distress, based on questions about people’s level of nervousness, agitation, psychological fatigue and depression in the past four weeks.10
In 2017, the proportion of Wyndham adults experiencing Mild psychological distress is higher (55.7%) compared to Western Melbourne (53.2%) and Victoria (53.9%); the proportion of people experiencing Moderate distress is lower (21.3%) compared to Western Melbourne (24.4%) than Victoria (24.7%); and the proportion of people experiencing high or very high psychological distress is marginally higher (15.9%) compared to Western Melbourne (15.2%) than Victoria (15.4%).
It is quite normal for people to experience low to mild psychological distress in their lives. It is often in response to life events and is limited in duration. Where you start getting higher rates of distress, this can impede a person’s day-to-day life and lead to people experiencing periods of anxiety and depression.
Psychological Distress (K10), Wyndham and Victoria 201711,12
The latest results show that males in Wyndham are seeking help for psychological problems more (14.8%) than the males across Western Melbourne (13.9%) and Victoria (14.1%). For females, there are higher rates of people seeking treatment (19.8%) than males, but this is below the proportion for state (21.2%). Overall, there is a higher proportion (18.0%) of people seeking professional help for mental health issues than the state (17.6%). However, the proportion of people seeking treatment is less than the proportion of people with a diagnosed condition (25.9%). Seeking help for mental health concerns is vitally important for ongoing health and wellbeing.