COVID-19 pandemic threatens young Australians' mental health: survey

Source: Xinhua| 2020-10-30 14:10:57|Editor: huaxia

CANBERRA, Oct. 30 (Xinhua) -- The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected the mental health of 75 percent of Australians aged 18 to 24, according to a poll published by Ipsos and Nine Entertainment newspapers on Friday.

By comparison, 65 percent of those polled aged 25 to 39 said the pandemic and restrictions have impacted on their mental wellbeing, 49 percent of those aged 40 to 54 and 35 percent of those aged 55 and over.

Ian Hickie, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Sydney, said the education and social lives of young people have been most disrupted by the pandemic worldwide.

The University of Sydney has published modelling that projected a 30-percent rise in the suicide rate for Australians aged 18-24 over the next five years.

In Victoria, the state hardest-hit by the pandemic, it was projected to rise 36.7 percent.

"Forty-five percent of jobs lost were among young people -- a lot in industries that are not coming back in a hurry such as tourism, hospitality and performing arts," Hickie said.

"The effects on young people's lives will run over five to 10 years. It won't end when the lockdown ends or when we appear to have the physical health threat under some control."

In the Northern Territory (NT), the number of patients presenting at Royal Darwin Hospital because of mental health issues has increased by 30 percent since the outbreak of COVID-19.

The increase has occurred despite the NT having had less than 40 confirmed cases of COVID-19, by far the fewest of any state or territory. Enditem