Are we becoming more mentally ill?

Mental illness has now become the leading cause of sickness absence and incapacity benefits in most developed countries.  In 2013, mental disorders took over from musculoskeletal problems as the main cause of long term work incapacity.  There is often an assumption that this reflects modern working life being more "toxic" to mental health and that, as a result, rates of mental illness are increasing.  We are using data from the Australian National Health Surveys to test this assumption and to find out if rates of mental health symptoms amongst working aged Australians have changed over the last decade.  We are currently collaborating with researchers in Norway to look at all published international data addressing this question.