New data reveals alarming trends in youth mental health across Australia

Staggering data has been released concerning the mental health of First Nations and gender diverse young people. Picture: UNSPLASH

The 2023 Kids Helpline Impact Report, released on 11 March, paints a stark picture of how the mental health landscape among children and young people in Australia has emerged, shedding light on critical concerns affecting First Nations and LGBTQIA+SB communities.

The report indicated that mental health and emotional wellbeing stand as paramount issues, constituting a staggering 49.7 percent of all counselling sessions for individuals aged 5-25 years nationwide.

A highlighted piece of data is the alarming surge in suicide-related worries among Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander youth over the past five years, marking a 161 percent increase. This rise is evidenced by a sharp escalation from 330 contacts in 2019 to 862 in 2023.

The report underscores a notable disparity, with suicide-related concerns among Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander youth accounting for 32.1 percent compared to 17.1 percent among all other Australian children and young people. These concerns are intertwined with a myriad of issues including family dynamics, abuse, and identity struggles.

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander females aged 15-24 endure the highest rates of suicide among their demographic.

Equally troubling is the escalating trend in counselling contacts from LGBTQIA+SB youth, with a staggering 223 percent increase over the past five years. This surge, rising from 2,415 in 2019 to 7,796 in 2023, underscores deep-seated concerns ranging from anxiety to gender identity conflicts and suicide-related challenges.

yourtown CEO Tracy Adams said the earlier that young people receive support for their mental wellbeing, the better the outcome.

“In 2023 Kids Helpline recorded more than 1.8M accessing the website content and resources, with 3.2M social accounts reached across Australia with Kids Helpline self-help content,” Ms Adams said.

“Young people are also supporting each other via Kids Helpline’s My Circle platform and generating their own stories and content to support their peers who are experiencing similar struggles.”

Kids Helpline stands as Australia’s sole 24/7 counselling service tailored to children and young people aged 5 to 25 years, operating under the umbrella of yourtown. Individuals seeking support can reach out for assistance via the toll-free number 1800 55 1800 or by visiting