One in eight has a new mental illness

Sixty-one percent said their mental health was negatively impacted by COVID-19 in 2021, up from 55 percent in 2020.

More than half of parents surveyed reported that COVID-19 negatively impacted young children and teens, but many said their relationships with their children improved compared to the previous year.

“It’s critical that we support people who experience insecure housing and financial stress, as these are the leading causes of poor mental health and psychological distress,” Lourey said, noting that 22 percent of people either lost their jobs. or had their working hours reduced due to the pandemic.

About 95 percent of people with a pre-existing mental health problem experienced increased loneliness or inability to cope.

“Over the next three years, we will have to pay a lot of attention to boosting the workforce and access to affordable mental health care. My main concern is about young people, from elementary school to high school,” Lourey said.

Professor Ian Hickie, co-director of the Brain and Mind Center at the University of Sydney, said the report highlights the need for continued support as the community realizes that COVID-19 will continue to disrupt their lives, too. even though the lockdowns have ended.

He said governments urgently needed to address the unmet demand for — and the prohibitive cost of — mental health care.

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About 17 percent of people living in NSW with mental illness delayed seeing a psychologist because of the cost, according to data from the Productivity Commission 2020-21.

He said emergency care and helpline demand presentations — Lifeline reported an average of 6,400 calls in January, more than in early 2020 and 2021 — suggested the pandemic had its greatest impact on mental health in 2021.

“2020 was bad, 2021 was worse and 2022 could at least be better than last year, but we are not back to the pre-pandemic yet,” he said.

“We don’t expect that until 2023, and that assumes nothing else goes wrong.”

The report found that four in five people experienced symptoms related to “pandemic fatigue,” which Hickie said was a reflection of two “chronically stressful” years.

Although western Sydney suffered from the lockdowns, the report found that these areas reported only marginally higher rates of increased care responsibilities for children and other family members.Credit:composite

While the focus of the lockdown’s impact was borne by western Sydney’s worrying LGAs, the report found that these areas reported only marginally higher rates of increased care responsibilities for children and other family members. But they previously said their physical health had deteriorated by 2021.

Hay said it would have been more helpful to see the answers broken down by socioeconomic status, noting that factors including whether you could work from home or have technology to homeschool determine the stress you experienced at the time. experiences.

With data from the World Health Organization released earlier this year indicating that the pandemic has increased the global prevalence of anxiety and depression by 25 percent, Hickie said countries were in demand for mental health services regardless of their caseload and death toll.

“The danger is that if you don’t respond now, it will result in long-term disability and economic costs.”

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