The SDAC is
designed to measure the prevalence of disability in Australia, as well as inform around the socio-economic characteristics and the need for support by people with disability.It deals with psychological disability in terms of people who reported:
- A nervous or emotional condition which causes restrictions in everyday activities that has lasted, or is expected to last for six months or more; or
- A mental illness for which help or supervision is required that has lasted, or is expected to last for six months or more; or
- A brain injury, including stroke, which results in a mental illness or nervous and emotional condition which causes restrictions in everyday activities.
- Of all people with any type of disability, 18.5% had a psychological disability.
- 3.4% of Australians (770,500 people) reported having a psychological disability, with similar rates for men and women. This was an increase from 2.8% (606,000 people) in 2009.
- For women, the prevalence of psychological disability increased steadily with age, with a rate of one in every five women aged 85 years and over (20.2%). Although prevalence generally increased with age, there was a significant decrease for women aged 65-74 years (3.3%) whose rate was on par with women aged 35-44 years (2.9%).
- For men, there was a higher prevalence (compared with women) in the younger age groups, with boys aged 0-14 years three times as likely as girls of a similar age to have a psychological disability (2.2% compared with 0.7%), attributed to the higher prevalence of autism in males in this age group. Overall, the prevalence for men also increased with age.
- Of those people with a psychological disability, four in ten reported profound levels of core activity limitation, and a further two in ten reported severe core activity limitations.
- A wide range of long-term health conditions and impairments coexist with psychological disability - the majority of people who reported a psychological disability reported having one or more other disabling conditions.
- 96% of people with psychological disability reported needing assistance or experiencing difficulty in at least one of the broad activity areas of everyday life.
- 1.8% of people with psychological disability who reported needing assistance did not have their need met at all.
- There is lower participation in education and employment for people with psychological disability, compared with those with no disability.