Covid-19 Pandemic’s mental health toll on young Australians

New research has revealed the extent of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of young Australians. 

One in four Australians between the age of 16 to 24 thought about suicide over the past two years Eighty-two per cent of those surveyed said they had experienced mental health issues during the pandemic. This was significantly higher than those aged over 25. 

Mental health experts say more must be done to tackle from some are calling a youth mental health crisis. 

Professor Patrick McGorry, executive director of Orygen, the National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health told  The Sydney Morning Herald that the crisis has been a long time in the making. 
“We’ve been trying to wake people up for 20 years about youth mental health because it’s been deteriorating, worldwide, and especially in Australia all that time,” Professor McGorry said. 

Professor McGorry is calling on the federal government to invest in specialised services for the  “missing middle” – those young people with severe mental health problems such as anorexia, early psychosis and personality disorders as “an urgent national priority.” 

Australian Psychological Society CEO Dr Zena Burgess said the survey findings were in line with the experiences of the society’s members. “Eating disorders got worse, anxiety got worse, depression got worse and generally, all the self-esteem issues of adolescence and young adulthood got worse,” she said. 

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