Australia News & Commentary

Children As Young As Five At Risk of Suicide And Self-Harm Amid Excessive Lockdowns

Kids Helpline revealed calls have soared during the pandemic, and the demand has continued throughout 2021.
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Children as young as five are seeking help from self-harm and suicidal concerns amid excessive lockdown measures in Victoria, Australia, new data from the Kids Helpline reveals.

According to the Financial Review: “Emergency interventions to protect young people in Victoria from suicide and child abuse have skyrocketed by 184 per cent over the past six months, as the state grapples with the mental health consequences of repeated C0VID-19 lockdowns.”

Teenagers are said to be the most at risk, with youth aged 13-18 accounting for 75 per cent of the total crisis interventions from December 1, 2020, to May 31, 2021, the data revealed.

Sky News Australia noted the concerning reports that “Victorian schools are dealing with an unprecedented surge in both self-harm and suicide attempts.”

Adding, “It’s across the board from prep right through to Year 12 both in regions and in the cities.”

The Herald Sun reports, Kids Helpline “received 13,000 suicide-related contacts in 2020, with 1150 callers presenting with an immediate suicide issue. More than one-third of contacts requiring intervention from emergency services involved suicide.”

Tony Fitzgerald, Kids Helpline virtual services manager told the Herald Sun, calls have soared during the pandemic, and the demand has continued throughout 2021.

“There are long-term effects from last year,” he said, “even with the youngest kids who are struggling to cope with their anxiety on top of everyday pressures.”

Concerns were expressed early last year of the mental and physical health impacts of lockdowns, for both young and old alike.

Professor Augusto Zimmermann warned that suicide rates in Australia are forecast to rise significantly during the next half-decade due to the socio-economic impact of government measures, with up to 30 per cent of those among young people aged 15-25 years.

“The Australian government has created a problem that appears to be much bigger than the virus,” Professor Zimmermann said.

In a piece for The Australian, Simon Benson cited expert warnings that the nation could see an extra 1,500 suicides a year over the next five years along with a general mental health crisis.

Doctors from Harvard University, Oxford University, and Stanford University Medical School authored a declaration last year warning that government lockdown policies are having a devastating impact on people’s physical and mental health.

The Great Barrington Declaration, which has since been signed by 14,184 medical and public health scientists, 43,168 medical practitioners, and 793,118 concerned citizens, says government measures will lead to greater excess mortality in years to come, with lower childhood vaccination rates, worsening cardiovascular disease outcomes, fewer cancer screenings and deteriorating mental health.

The doctors warn the working class, along with the younger members of society, will be forced to carry the heaviest burden as a result.

Similarly, Professor Mark Woolhouse, an epidemiologist at Edinburgh University and adviser to the UK Government said the attempts to control the virus through lockdown measures was a “monumental mistake.”

“Lockdown was a panic measure,” Professor Woolhouse said. “And I believe history will say trying to control C0VID-19 through lockdown was a monumental mistake on a global scale. The cure was worse than the disease.”


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