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Australia: Second Highest Medicated People

Some surprising statistics were released late in 2019, before COVID-19 took hold. They revealed that Australians are the second highest medicated people for anxiety in the world. Australia has a lot going for it as a society, compared to other countries, so you have to wonder why this is the case. Is it down to the individual Australian psyche? Or does it have to do with the institutional structures we find ourselves in?

We believe the cause of a lot of anxiety in this country is due to the fact that people are unsure about what tomorrow will bring. People feel insecure about the structures that have enveloped us in the last 40 odd years during the privatisation-deregulation-corporatisation-globalisation revolution.

Youth suicide is high in Australia. Young people face a lot of pressures these days, including growing up in both a competitive educational environment and a 24-hour social media surveillance world. Then, when young people enter the job market, they face an insecure, largely non-unionised workforce. In the third stage of life when you take on more responsibilities, like a family and a mortgage, people find themselves up to their necks in debt. Australians are one of the most indebted people in the world. The difference between poverty and a good life is 6 weeks wages and ‘work/life balance’ is an illusion.

As for the elderly, there has been a significant change for this age group in Australia in the last 40 years. Superannuation, the privatisation of old age, sees you pay for your own old age. One’s future as an elderly person is intertwined with the capitalist system. You don’t know how long the money is going to last or what kind of care you are going to receive.

At every stage there is anxiety. If these issues we have discussed leave you wanting to do something about it, we encourage you to join ‘Public Interests Before Corporate Interests’. Get involved in a social, economic and cultural movement that uses direct action and the electoral system to fundamentally change the structures of this society so that we will become a secure people in a secure environment with a secure future.