This new white paper illustrates the magnitude of burden associated with the neurological, mental health and substance use disorders in Australia and the vast negative impact they have on patients, families, the community, health costs and lost national productivity.
Globally, the burden of neurological, mental health and substance abuse disorders account for 11.1 per cent of the total burden of disease, approximately half the Australian share which sits at 20.5 per cent over the overall disease burden (Figure 2.2), highlighting the relatively high burden of these disorders within Australia.
In 2017, the burden of neurological, mental health and substance use disorders was nearly 1.2 million DALYs1 or 20.5 per cent of Australia’s total burden of disease (Figure 2.1). Compared to 2010, this figure has increased by 13.5 per cent from 1.04 million DALYs. These results reinforce the findings from earlier key studies highlighting the substantial contribution from neurological, mental health and substance disorders to the total burden of disease.
The Australian cost of burden of disease has increased by 13.5 per cent since 2010.
In 2017, mental health disorders accounted for the highest burden of disease (46%), followed by neurological disorders (37%) and substance disorders (16%).
Substance use disorders have the highest growth rate between 2010 and 2017 (24.7%), followed by neurological disorders (15.6%) and mental disorders (8.6%).
The burden by disorders is disproportionality spread across age groups. For mental health and substance abuse disorders, the burden peaks early in life (before the age of 30), is maintained through middle age before tapering in later years, contrastingly neurological disorders predominantly impact on later senior life.