One in seven school students affected by mental health disorders

Stock image.
Stock image.

MENTAL Health disorders have affected one in seven Australian school students in the past 12 months, a UWA study has revealed.

ADHD and anxiety were found to be the most common mental disorders experienced by students.

The research team analysed nationwide school attendance data and found students in Years 1 to 6, with a mental disorder, missed an average 12 days per year compared to eight days per year for those without a mental disorder.

Year 7 to 10 students with a mental disorder missed an average 23 days per year compared to 11 days per year for those without, while students in Years 11 to 12 with a mental disorder missed an average of 26 days per year compared to 12 days per year.

Australian study leader UWA Associate Professor David Lawrence said previous research revealed school absences on this scale were likely to impact student learning and academic achievement.

“Without strategies in place to catch up on school work and missed learning opportunities, significant absences like this are likely to place students’ academic achievement at risk, even without considering the other impacts mental health disorders may have on students’ learning,” he said.