The 2014–15 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey (NATSISS) provides a range of information about the social and economic circumstances of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over who said they had been told by a doctor or nurse that they have a mental health condition. In this article, the 29% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who self-reported: depression; anxiety; behavioural or emotional problems; and/or harmful use of, or dependence on drugs or alcohol; are described as having a mental health condition. Almost one-quarter (23%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reported having both a mental health condition and one or more other long-term health conditions.
Almost two-thirds (65%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people had a long-term health condition, including 29% who reported a diagnosed mental health condition (25% of males and 34% of females). Mental health conditions were less likely to have been reported by young people (22%) than by those in older age groups (ranging from 30% to 35%). In addition, mental health conditions were twice as likely to have been reported by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in non-remote areas than in remote areas (33% compared with 16%) (Table 10.1).
In the remainder of this article, the outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with a mental health condition are compared with those for people with other long-term health conditions (but no mental health condition), and those with no long-term health condition.