self doubt, depression, confidence

Mental Health is all over our media.  People are starting to discuss, accept, acknowledge and request that it be funded with resources to assist people in this area.  

One of the least discussed, but one of most concern is the mental health of people with disabilities.

There are many reasons for the occurrence of Mental Health within the Disability World.  It not just based on their disability, environmental factors, social, or functional limitations. With Mental Health Issues that occur due to the disability,  the cause can and may range from:

  • Isolation
  • Inability to communicate
  • Disconnection from the community
  • Exclusion
  • Invisibility (Societies ability to see through them, not see them)
  • Rejection
  • Frustration
  • Appearance
  • the list is endless but very much a part of the life of people with disabilities.
Lets look at some facts – detailed below.

“In general, adults with disability experience higher levels of psychological distress than those without disability. This is particularly true for those with severe or profound disability. For example, high or very high levels of psychological distress are more likely to be experienced by:

  • adults with disability (32%), who are 4 times as likely as those without disability (8.0%)
  • adults with severe or profound disability (40%), who are more likely than adults with other forms of disability (30%)
  • men with disability (31%), who are around 5 times as likely as those without disability (6.8%)
  • women with disability (32%), who are around 3 times as likely as women without disability (9.2%) (Figure STATUS.2).

Younger adults (aged 18–64) with disability are more likely to experience a higher level of psychological distress than older adults (aged 65 and over) with disability (Figure STATUS.2).

According to disability group, the most likely to experience a high or very high level of psychological distress are adults with:

  • psychological disability (76%)
  • intellectual disability (60%)
  • head injury, stroke or brain damage (55%).

The least likely to experience this are adults with:

  • sensory disability (sight, hearing or speech) (28%)
  • physical disability (33%) (ABS 2019).

References:  ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) 2018a. National Health Survey: first results, 2017–18. ABS cat. no. 4324.0.55.001. Canberra: ABS.

ABS 2018b. ABS sources of disability information, 2012–2016. ABS cat. no. 4431.0.55.002. Canberra: ABS.

ABS 2019. Microdata: National Health Survey, 2017–18. ABS cat. no. 4364.0.55.001.

Canberra: ABS. Findings based on AIHW analysis of the main unit record file (MURF)”