Our Children, Our Future
The Children’s Mental Health Coalition
The Goal: To give Australian children a better start in life by ensuring access to mental health services from early childhood.
The Facts: Population statistics: There are 4.1 million children in Australia aged to 14 years, representing 19% of the population. On average, 20% of children in modern societies have their lives harmed by mental health problems:
- Children with mental health problems could fill the Concert Hall at the Sydney Opera House on 300 consecutive nights (almost a year!)
9% of Australian children have a long term mental health problem. Looking only at these 234,600 children:
- They would fill the Concert Hall at the Sydney Opera House on 88 consecutive days (12.5 weeks)
Most of these children with chronic mental health problems are not receiving services. The cost and burden falls on children, their families and society when these children fail.
The Solution: Invest in prevention and early intervention for children’s mental health; this will create an economic dividend through making more productive citizens and reducing pressure on justice, hospital and child protection services.
Children’s mental health services are the least well funded part of the mental health system. More investment, in early identification and treatment services is crucial to reducing the overall rate of mental illness in our community.