Use of Mental Health Services by Young Australians Soaring After the 2020 Blockade: Research

The surge in young Australians in New South Wales sought mental health services compared to the previous year, following the first wave of COVID-19 restrictions in 2020.

A collaborative study between the University of New South Wales and the Sydney Children’s Hospital Network observed the number of children admitted to hospital services and emergency departments between January 2020 and February 2021.

There was a marked reduction in overall hospitalization due to chronic illness and acute infections and injuries during the blockade, but by June it quickly returned to pre-pandemic levels.

However, children’s use of mental health services remained the same during the blockade, well above pre-pandemic levels after the blockade.

Researchers have found that the majority of young Australians between the ages of 12 and 17 seeking mental health services have a socio-economic background.

“Increased use of mental health services should be understood in the context of the steady increase in use of related medical services related to mental health problems between children and adolescents in Australia over the last decade,” the study said. Said Nan Hu, the lead author of.

“Unintended consequences of blockades such as social isolation. With reduced access to schools, community services can exacerbate the long-standing problems faced by young people.”

Hu said it was difficult to determine exactly why this increase was brought about by young people in wealthy families.

“One possible reason for this may be the reduced access to community mental health professionals available to children in these privileged areas during the pre-pandemic period,” Hu said. Says.

The study’s lead author, Raghu Lingam, said the study highlights the true need for sustainable and targeted mental health services for children and adolescents during and after a pandemic.

“As the pandemic progresses over the next few years, we need to further monitor the direct and indirect outcomes of our children,” says Ringham.

NS final report The Parliamentary Commission on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention recommended that when reforming the system, most mental health problems occur before the age of 14, so early intervention should be focused on.

“Early intervention and preventive education campaigns are important to prevent long-term mental health,” said Chairman Fiona Martin. “So it’s really important for us to focus on our children and provide early intervention to children with early signs and problems.”

Rebecca Chu