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Teen mental health hospitalizations rise by 57% during lockdowns in Victoria – state report

Teen mental health hospitalizations rise by 57% during lockdowns in Victoria – state report
The number of teen hospitalizations for mental health emergencies skyrocketed in the Australian state of Victoria this year as Covid-19 lockdowns kept people indoors and away from others, according to a leaked official report.

The Weekend Australian obtained a secretive 16-page report from the Victorian Agency for Health Information on Saturday – which was marked confidential and to be destroyed if received by an unauthorized person – revealing that the youth mental health crisis is worse than previously thought.

An average of 342 Victorians under the age of 17 were admitted to hospital each week, according to the report, which used data from between April and May of this year. This is a worrying 57% increase from the same time period in 2020.

On average 156 teenagers per week were also admitted to hospital for self-harming or expressing suicidal tendencies, the report claimed – an 88% increase from the year prior.

Perhaps most concerning, cases where teenagers required “resuscitation and emergency treatment” rose by a whopping 162% from the same six week time period in 2019, and an 83% rise from 2020, showing that the problem is getting significantly worse.

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An unnamed child psychiatrist told The Weekend Australian that the statistics “are unequivocally awful,” and said they “show increased demand” without an “increase in services because services were already at capacity.”

“Our units are completely over run,” they claimed, adding that the rise in hospitalizations “is even bigger than I would have guessed.”

Melbourne – the largest city in Victoria – has experienced over 200 days of some of the world's longest and strictest Covid-19 lockdowns, with residents ordered to stay at home unless they have a reasonable excuse to leave the house.

Over 200 Australians were arrested in Melbourne during a protest against lockdown restrictions last week, and at least seven police officers were injured. Some 4,000 people were estimated to have been involved in the ‘unauthorized’ protest.

Last week, it was reported that calls to Australian mental health support lines during the pandemic had risen by 30%.

During the same week, Victoria's Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton hastily left a press conference after being questioned by a reporter on the rise of teenage suicides.

A rise in mental health problems and substance abuse has also been recorded across the globe since the start of the pandemic, with England experiencing record-high drug deaths.

Also on rt.com Australian health official flees press conference after question over spike in teen suicides, as Victoria locks down AGAIN

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