Mental disorders and mental health in Canada and Australia: Comparative epidemiological findings

Tempier, Raymond, Meadows, Graham N., Vasiliadis, Helen-Maria, Mosier, Karen E., Lesage, Alain, Stiller, Anna, Graham, Annette and Lepnurm, Marje (2009) Mental disorders and mental health in Canada and Australia: Comparative epidemiological findings. Social Psychiatry And Psychiatric Epidemiology, 44 1: 63-72. doi:10.1007/s00127-008-0409-y

Author Tempier, Raymond
Meadows, Graham N.
Vasiliadis, Helen-Maria
Mosier, Karen E.
Lesage, Alain
Stiller, Anna
Graham, Annette
Lepnurm, Marje
Title Mental disorders and mental health in Canada and Australia: Comparative epidemiological findings
Journal name Social Psychiatry And Psychiatric Epidemiology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0933-7954
Publication date 2009
Year available 2008
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s00127-008-0409-y
Volume 44
Issue 1
Start page 63
End page 72
Total pages 10
Editor P. Bebbington
Place of publication Heidelberg, Germany
Publisher Springer Medizin
Collection year 2010
Language eng
Subject 920410 Mental Health
9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health)
Formatted abstract
Canada and Australia although geographically distant have similarities in human geography and history. Each has had a national mental health policy for some years, but Australia has driven policy implementation in this area harder than has Canada. Comparable epidemiological surveys from Australia in 1997 and Canada in 2002 allow us to explore relative rates of mental disorders and compare estimates of access to care from mental health services.


We compare findings from the Australian National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing (1997) with those from the Canadian Community Health Survey on Mental Health and Well Being, cycle 1.2 (2002).


Differences in prevalence rates and in service utilisation emerge between the two countries: Anxiety Disorders are estimated as almost 2% higher in Canada than in Australia while there is suggestion that Major Depressive Disorder, Alcohol Dependence and Drug Dependence may be more prevalent in Australia. More of the people with co-morbid disorders in Australia than in Canada make use of mental health services and a finding of marginal significance suggests that this may be true across all disorders.

Causation cannot be determined from this study but possible explanations for differences in prevalence include changes in global economic, political and security contexts and concerns between 1997 and 2002 and the possible role of greater availability of alcohol in Australia. The findings also provide encouragement that strenuously implementing a national mental health policy may have been of benefit to people with mental health problems in Australia.
Keyword Mental Health Surveys
Mental Disorders
International Comparisons
Service Use
Mental Illness Prevalence Rates
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown
Additional Notes Published online: 14 July 2008

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: ERA 2012 Admin Only
School of Medicine Publications
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 23 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 28 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Tue, 06 Apr 2010, 15:21:46 EST by Fiona Mactaggart on behalf of Medicine - Princess Alexandra Hospital