CONCERN has been flagged regarding the mental health of young people during the pandemic. A disproportionate number of children and young people presenting with varying levels of mental, emotional and psychological anguish has continued to increase in 2021.
These statistics, released on World Suicide Prevention Day, reveal that in six months, Kids Helpline counsellors contacted frontline responders for an emergency intervention 135 percent more during the same period in 2020.
What is termed ‘The Shadow Pandemic’ is hitting hard. A recent report by Suicide Prevention Australia (SPA) illustrated that one-quarter of Australians know someone who has taken their own life in the past 12 months.
For Victorian children and young people, emergency actions related to suicide attempts were 161 percent higher between March and August 2021 than in the year prior.
Battling with isolation, home schooling, and a world turned upside down, anyone who grew up before the pandemic must feel for our young people, the pride and frustration that goes with this unchartered territory. A battle that has affected us all individually and so profoundly.
Dr John Hall, president of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) said, “GPs have training and experience in managing mental health issues, and they can provide a safe and confidential environment for talking about how you feel and the issues in your life that are affecting you.”
Anyone who is feeling overwhelmed or concerned for their own or another’s mental health are encouraged seek support.
Young people can free call 1800 55 1800 or go online at www.kidshelpline.com.au for support.
Lifeline can be contacted at 13 11 14 or online at https://www.lifeline.org.au/