The COVID-19 pandemic has had a drastic impact on the lives of all Australians. Younger Australians have been most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic experiencing the highest rates of psychological distress.
Compared to pre-pandemic rates, pandemic average psychological distress was more than 10 percent higher for Australian’s aged under 44 years.
Young Australians aged 18-24 experienced the highest rates of psychological distress with a pandemic average K6 score of 14.3.
Compared to pre-pandemic levels, 1.42 times as many Australians reported that at least some of the time they were so sad nothing could cheer them up.
Older Australians reported lower levels of psychological distress compared to pre-pandemic levels with an average K6 score of 9 for people aged 65-74 and 9 for people aged 75 and older.
|Variable time span
|February 2017-April 2022
Younger Australian's mental helath has been greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic with People under the age of 44 reporting higher psychological distress levels. Compared to pre-pandemic rates in February 2017, pandemic average psychological distress was more than 10 percent higher for Australian's aged under 44 years.
Throughout the pandemic Australians aged 18-24 reported the highest Kessler 6 (K6) scores indicating that they were experiencing moderate psychological distress. Average K6 scores throughout the pandemic for younger Australians was 14.3 for 18-24 years; 13.4 for 25-34 years and 12.3 for 35-44 years. At all 11 time points from April 2020 through to April 2022, Australians aged 18-24 reported the highest rates of psychological distress, with their K6 scores the highest in October 2020.
Older Australians reported lower levels of psychological distress throughout the pandemic. The Pandemic average level of psychological distress for older Australians aged over 65 years was actually lower than pre-pandemic levels in February 2017. The average pandemic K6 score 65-74 years was of 9.0 for and 8.9 for Australians aged over 75 years.