NEWS THAT MATTERS

Report shows impact of pandemic

on young Australians

The Covid-19 pandemic severely impacted the mental health of young people, with increased levels of clinical depression being identified.

29 July 2021

 

DURING 2020, rates of confirmed cases of COVID-19 among those aged 20–24 and those aged 25–29 (168 and 183 per 100,000 people, respectively) were higher than all other age groups, except 85 years and over (279 per 100,000). Between January and 16 June 2021, there were 187 cases among young people aged 15 to 24, making up 9.7% of the total 1,929 cases during this period. In 2021, across all 5-year age groups in the population, rates of confirmed cases have been highest among those aged 30–34, followed by those aged 35–39, and those aged 25–29.

 

Of the 910 COVID-19-related deaths in Australia since the pandemic began 1 was in the 20–29 age group.

 

Figures from the AIHW's National Suicide and Self-Harm Monitoring System show more people are using crisis lines like Lifeline and other mental health services since the crisis began, while there has also been an increase in ambulance attendances for suicidal thoughts and self-harm in both NSW and Victoria.

 

Yesterday’s Mission Australia Report, Young Voices of the Pandemic, highlights the severe impacts the pandemic has had on young Australians.

 

In particular, it points to the serious impact that long periods of lockdown have had on the education, sense of isolation and mental health of young people.

This is evidenced by the disproportionate impacts reportedly felt by young Victorians, who were hit particularly hard by the pandemic in 2020.

Unfortunately, Scott Morrison’s bungling of the vaccine rollout means young Australians are still being subjected to lockdowns and disruptions to their lives, especially at the moment in New South Wales.

The report also states that 41.1 per cent of young people who were concerned about their education were 17 years old, showing the impact COVID has had on those completing their final two years of school.

Respondents reported that ongoing disruptions to their everyday lives made them feel worried, and on top of that they did not have access to their usual supports.

The report notes that Mission Australia is concerned about the impact of COVID will continue to have an on young people’s lives and their futures.

 

In order to mitigate the negative consequences, the report calls for people to begin listening to young people, and ensuring the right supports and systems are in place.

That is why it is essential that the Prime Minister and the Minister for Youth to implement a COVID-19 Youth Recovery Strategy.

The strategy must:-

 

  • Be genuinely co-designed with young people;

 

  • Include a comprehensive consideration of how various policy areas interact and impact young people;

 

  • Outline clear short, medium and long term goals and targets, with regular reporting to Parliament.

 

The Morrison Government must finally develop a strategy and plan for our young people, as they should have last year when Labor first called for it.

We cannot leave an entire generation of Australians behind.

Grapevine News Online

Central Coast NSW

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