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The pendulum may have swung too far in mental illness

Drawing on figures from 2007, the Australian Bureau of Statistics tells us “almost half (45 per cent) of Australians aged 16 to 85 reported they would have met the criteria for a diagnosis of a mental disorder at some point in their life”. On the numbers, Jon Jureidini, professor of psychiatry at the University of Adelaide, believes the touted 50 per cent results from the conflation of two populations. He says 1 to 2 per cent of the population suffers from severe mental illness that requires psychiatric help.