Depression, Substance Use and Suicidality in Help-Seeking Adolescents: A Survey of Prevalence

Elizabeth Cosgrave, Eoin Killackey, Alison Yung, Joe Buckby, Katherine Godfrey, Carrie Stanford, Antonia Stuart, Patrick D McGorry

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Mental health problems affect a sizeable minority of Australian adolescents. Depression and substance use disorders are common mental disorders reported in this age group. Difficulties of this nature that manifest in adolescence will often continue into adulthood. This report describes a sample of adolescents referred to a public mental health service with respect to their psychiatric diagnoses, depressive symptoms, patterns of substance use and level of suicidality. Mood disorders and substance-use disorders were both prevalent in the sample of participants, with sizeable comorbidity reflected in the number of participants meeting criteria for both of these diagnoses. Data revealed participants with a psychiatric diagnosis were significantly more likely to have made a suicide attempt than those with no diagnosis. High levels of depressive symptoms were associated with suicidality, illicit substance use, and the likelihood of having a psychiatric diagnosis. Heavy use of alcohol was prevalent in this group, but unrelated to the other variables of interest to the study. These results are discussed with respect to the importance of early detection of vulnerable students in a school setting. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2005 APA, all rights reserved) (journal abstract).
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)162-175
    Number of pages14
    JournalAustralian Journal of Guidance & Counselling
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2004


    • *Adolescent Development
    • *Drug Abuse
    • *Help Seeking Behavior
    • *Major Depression
    • *Suicidal Ideation
    • Comorbidity
    • Epidemiology
    • Psychological & Physical Disorders [3200].
    • Human. Male. Female. Adolescence (13-17 yrs). Adulthood (18 yrs & older). Young Adulthood (18-29 yrs)


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