Rates of depression and anxiety are growing in Queensland.
Rates of depression and anxiety are growing in Queensland.

The most depressing thing about Queensland

QUEENSLANDERS are the country's most depressed and anxious people, with almost one in four suffering mental health issues.

Experts say it's due to an unhappy trifecta of natural disasters, drought and high regional unemployment.

Nearly 1.1 million Queenslanders had a mental or behavioural problem like depression, anxiety, an organic mental disorder or alcohol and drug problems in 2017-18 - 263,000 more than just three years ago.

The latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics National Health Survey paint a startling picture of the health of the state.

Two thirds of adults are overweight or obese, one in six consume risky levels of alcohol every day, more than one in five has high blood pressure, 17 per cent of the population has back problems and only one in 20 adults eat enough fruit and vegetables.

Only one in 20 Queensland adults eat enough fruit and vegetables.
Only one in 20 Queensland adults eat enough fruit and vegetables.

Queensland also led the states in its rates of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which describes progressive lung diseases such as emphysema, chronic bronchitis and asthma mostly caused by smoking.

Lifeline Queensland manager Le-Anne Borham said Queensland had some unique challenges.

"If somebody is just managing from week to week, then they get hit by something unexpected, then they are vulnerable," she said.

It comes as Health Minister Steven Miles promises extra mental health funding in the upcoming Budget. Mr Miles this week announced an extra $227 million over 5 years for community mental health services in Queensland on top of a $350 million investment in mental health, alcohol and drug services.

 

Meanwhile, new health promotion agency Health and Wellbeing Queensland will be tasked with finding ways to improve life to Queenslanders by targeting obesity, chronic disease and mental health, he said.

Anyone seeking support or in crisis should contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit lifeline.org.au. For further information about depression, contact beyondblue on 1300 22 4636 or talk to your GP, local health professional or someone you trust.