Mental Illness Rates in Children Soaring in Australia

Mental Illness Rates in Children Soaring in Australia

7th May 2018

The number of young people visiting Emergency Departments with mental health issues in Australia has rocketed it’s been revealed.

According to a study published last week by the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, there was a 46% increase in the number of young people visiting Emergency Departments in Victoria between 2008 and 2015.

Meanwhile a separate paper has shown a 27% increase in the amount of people under the age of 19 experiencing suicidal thoughts, self harming and self poisoning.

Worryingly the biggest rise appears to have been in those between the ages of 10 and 14 - leading to calls for more interventions at an earlier stage.

Lead author of the study into Victoria’s mental health, Professor Harriet Hiscock, said: “It's extremely worrying. The emergency department, by and large, is not a place where children with mental health issues should be coming.

“It may be an issue of not knowing where else to go, or they may go to their GP and get referrals and there’s waiting times, out-of-pocket costs or services that don’t open hours that are suitable for parents and children.”

Whilst adolescent health expert at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Professor Susan Sawyer, added: “We're yet to pick up the ball around a prevention agenda, particularly around self-harm.

“There are some important questions to be asked about the quality of care that is being delivered in schools.”

Australia’s battle with mental illness is well known, with the country keen to fight back against issues estimated to affect more than a quarter of the population. For more information on how to secure a move to the country, register on our website today. 

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