A majority of Australians say stress is affecting their mental health, while there’s a widening wellbeing gap between the sexes, a new mental health report says.
The Australian Psychological Society’s survey of stress and wellbeing also found 2014 was a tough year for women, with many reporting significantly higher levels of stress in their day-to-day lives.
More than 70 per cent of Australians reported their current stress levels had an impact on their physical health.
But worryingly, 64 per cent reported current stress levels had an impact on their mental health.
“Stress can have an extremely detrimental effect on a person’s mental and physical health,” APS executive director Professor Lyn Littlefield said.
“It’s important to first identify the cause of stress to work towards avoiding the source, or adopting stress management behaviours.
“Different people are affected by different things, but it is interesting to see the varying impact family and personal financial issues have on stress levels for men and women.”
More than half (53 per cent) of Australian women said personal financial issues as a major source of stress, compared to just 44 per cent of men.
Correspondingly, more than half (52 per cnet) of all women reported family issues as a major source of stress compared to just 38 per cent of men.
Women also reported a greater impact of stress on their health: more women (21%) than men (13%) said that stress was strongly impacting their physical health and more women (23%) than men (14%) reported that stress was strongly impacting their mental health.
Australians aged 66 and over continued to report significantly higher levels of wellbeing compared with other Australians
Young adults (18-35) reported the highest levels of depression and anxiety symptoms.
The report was released on Sunday to mark the start of National Psychology Week, which runs until November 15.