Tragedy of Tormented Teenagers: Mental Illness Hits One in Four

1429 WordsJun 18, 20186 Pages
Many young Australians suffer from mental illness and are exposed to serious risk of harm. It is found that more than one in four teenagers suffer a mental illness and most are not identified or treated (Mcdougall, 2013). Mental illness is the largest risk factor that causes suicidal behaviour and serious psychological distress in young people (Australian Government, 2013). According to Mcdougall (2013), the life expectancy for people with mental illness is 15 to 20 year lower than other Australians. Child and adolescent psychologist Carr-Gregg, states that despite of high prevalence of suicide, 80 per cent of adolescents with mental illness do not acknowledge the illness and remain untreated (as cited in Mcdougall, 2013). In the context…show more content…
In the study of Yap, Reavley & Jorm (2013), the attitudes of young people aged 15-25 were categorised into five stigma scales; social distance, personal weakness, personal dangerousness, perceived weakness by others and perceived dangerousness by others (Yap, Reavley & Jorm, 2013). Yap, Reavley & Jorm (2013) conclude that young people who perceive mental illness as an indicator of weakness and cause of social distance were less likely to seek for professional help. However, the participants with a belief that mental illness is dangerous and unpredictable showed more intention for seeking professional help (Yap, Reavley & Jorm, 2013). This suggests a strong correlation between help seeking actions and belief towards the mental illness. Another suggested explanation that contributes to high prevalence of untreated young people with mental disorder is that there still is “no coherent national service framework, no service model, few care guidelines and continuing poor accountability” (Mcdougall, 2013). Mendoza argues that there hasn’t been a progress in lifting life expectancy of people suffering mental illness in 30 years since Richmond reform was released (Mcdougall, 2013). The Richmond reform which was released in 1983, recommended the downsizing of large psychiatric institutions and establishing special funding of community based facilities to treat psychiatric disorder (mhcc, 2013). It made its intention to expand non-government services to develop

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