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New data shows demand for youth mental health service highest in Victoria

Harrowing new data from the Kids Helpline shows the emotional toll Daniel Andrews' lockdowns are taking on the youngest Victorians.

By news@gippsland - 16th August 2021 - Back to News

Victoria recorded the highest demand for the mental health support service than anywhere in the nation with a 68 percent increase in May to July this year, from 3190 calls to 3632 per week. By comparison, calls increased about 50 per cent in both New South Wales and South Australia.

The pandemic affected the mental health of young Victorian children more than those in other states during 2020, largely due to their state's prolonged second lockdown

The pandemic affected the mental health of young Victorian children more than those in other states during 2020, largely due to their state's prolonged second lockdown

Refuses to apply common sense

Shadow Minister for Mental Health Emma Kealy said the isolation of lockdown was weighing heavy on young people, aged between 5 and 25 years old. "Almost all of us who've been home-schooling over the past 18 months have had our own experience of seeing their child simply not coping with yo-yoing in and out of the classroom," Ms Kealy said.

"Whether it's school closures and ever-changing routines, isolation from their friends and family, or being unable to do the things they love which keep them physically and mentally well, including community sport, music and art lessons, these lockdowns are taking a growing toll.

"Despite this, the Andrews Labor Government refuses to apply common sense and compassion to its COVID response or to give us a plan to keep the kids in the classroom."

Having no plan out of lockdown

Dozens of medical research papers now available from across the world have demonstrated school closures do far more harm to our children's mental health and educational outcomes - especially among vulnerable children already facing disadvantage.

Ms Kealy said the roll out of rapid testing in schools and prioritising our teachers in the vaccination rollout are common sense steps forward that can be implemented now to keep our schools open.

"The Andrews Labor Government claims every decision in its COVID response is based on public health advice. How much longer will our children suffer before Daniel Andrews listens to the experts? The Andrews Labor Government is guilty of having no plan out of lockdown and for Victoria's recovery. Our kids are paying the price." Ms Kealy said

Calls per week to Kids Helpline (by state)

The total number of responses per medium is also captured automatically by the Kids Helpline contact-tracking system.
And below is a table data of calls made to Kids Helpline per week :

Week beginningVICNSWSA
May 331903468858
May 1032483538912
May 1729853367818
May 2433083536903
May 3135123453793
Jun 732073316821
Jun 1421562733641
Jun 2122963236849
Jun 2828153687903
Jul 527413460681
Jul 1234243866774
Jul 1936324143964

*Is change between week beginning June 14 - July 19

Children and young people gave us some highly valuable feedback about why they used Kids Helpline, how they found the experience, and what we could do to improve.

Pictures from Talking Mental Health website .


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