Tracking depression-related mental health literacy across South Australia: A decade of change

Robert D. Goldney, Kirsten I. Dunn, Eleonora Dal Grande, Shona Crabb, Anne Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: The aim of the present study was to measure and compare levels of depression-related mental health literacy in South Australia across three points in time: 1998, 2004, and 2008. Method: Participants were those recruited for the 1998, 2004, and 2008 South Australian Health Omnibus Surveys. Comparisons were made across overall levels of depression-related mental health literacy as well as between responses to independent questionnaire items. Results: A significant improvement was found in the overall measure of depression-related mental health literacy between 1998 and 2004 and this was consolidated in 2008. Some discrete changes in literacy were found between 2004 and 2008, with improvements recorded across some demographic groups and in participants' ability to accurately classify symptoms. Participants in 2008, however, were significantly less likely to endorse providers or treatments as 'helpful' than in 2004. Conclusions: Although knowledge and understanding of depression have improved significantly and stabilized since 1998, patient confidence in both mental health therapists and treatment options fell between 2004 and 2008, although it is still greater than in 1998.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)476-483
Number of pages8
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Depression
  • Mental health literacy
  • South Australia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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