Poor mental health has previously been associated with risky sexual health behaviours among young people internationally and in clinical samples, but little is known about this relationship in non-clinical settings. We conducted a cross-sectional survey with a convenience sample of 1345 Australians aged 15–29. Multivariable logistic regression was used to identify sexual health behaviours independently associated with recent poor mental health including contraception use, STI testing, sexting and age at first sexual intercourse. Recent poor mental health was reported by 29.7 % of participants and independently associated with female gender (OR 1.8; 95 % CI 1.4–2.4), not identifying as heterosexual (OR 3.0; 95 % CI 2.1–4.4) and young age at first sexual intercourse among female participants (OR 1.4; 95 % CI 1.0–2.0). Results suggest mental health is largely driven by variables other than sexual health behaviours, although youth mental health services should consider inclusion of sexual health promotion within the scope of their services.
- Mental health
- Public health
- Sexual health
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Sexually transmitted infections
- Young people