Second Mental Health Survey of Australian Children Underway

Second Mental Health Survey of Australian Children Underway

17 June 2013

The second national survey to look at the mental health and wellbeing of Australian children and adolescents is underway, with data collectors out and about across the country.

It has been 15 years since Australias only previous survey covering the mental health of children and adolescents.

More than 6000 Australian families will be selected randomly and interviewed over the next six months as part of the Young Minds Matter survey, looking at the emotional and behavioural development of children and young people aged between 4 and 17 years.

Young Minds Matter is being funded by the Australian Government through the Department of Health and Ageing and is being conducted by the University of Western Australia (UWA) and the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, in collaboration with Roy Morgan Research.

Heading the study will be Professors Steve Zubrick and David Lawrence from the Telethon Institute and UWA, who say the survey results will be used to help plan, shape and develop programs and support services for Australias children and adolescents, building on the successful work of the first survey carried out in the late 90s.

The first survey really laid the foundation for Australia to improve the mental health and wellbeing of our kids, said Professor Zubrick.

This next phase will provide really valuable insight into how our kids are doing and help us to plan for better prevention and better treatment of mental health issues. To get a complete picture, we need to know about all kids, not just those with problems.

Professor Lawrence said this second survey will be instrumental in shining new light on how the kids of today are coping with new challenges and new pressures in a changing world.

These are very different times for children and young people growing up compared to 15-20 years ago. The information this new survey collects will be critical in helping policy makers and service providers best meet the mental health and wellbeing needs of a new generation of young people. said Professor Lawrence.

Data collectors will be asking families across Australia to take part in the survey, by answering a series of questions by a trained interviewer in their home.

Children between 11 and 17 years will also be asked to complete a separate electronic questionnaire. Participation in the Young Minds Matter survey is voluntary and only with consent.

For more information go to www.youngmindsmatter.org.au where an interview with Professor Steve Zubrick is available for viewing/download.

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Media contact:

Carole Kerr Telethon Institute for Child Health Research
(08) 9489 7779/0419 950 570, ckerr@ichr.uwa.edu.au
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