September 16

Australians About Their Mental Health Needs Post-COVID Threat

Australians About Their Mental Health Needs Post-COVID Threat

The COVID-19 pandemic is a serious threat to mental health in the world. Even though the number of people infect with COVID-19 in Australia is much lower than other countries, we found that the mood of the population was negatively affect by restrictions and lockdowns.

This can make it more difficult for people to get work done and a part of society. Policy makers should focus their attention on what they can do for people to help them adapt to a COVID-normal life. Our new survey research provides important insight into how people see themselves as able to adjust.

Our Research Threat

Two anonymous online surveys conduct in 2020 among Australians aged 18 and over about their experiences with COVID 19, as well as their mental health. The first survey was conduct in April, shortly after COVID-19 restrictions were implement nationwide. The second was launch in August, after restrictions had eased in Victoria.

We included 16 possible policies in the second survey and asked respondents to choose which would help them get out of the COVID-19 restrictions. These policies included policies on mental health, financial support and employment assistance. They also provided access to telehealth and support for community organizations. Government management of future pandemics was also included.

What Threat We Found

The first survey was completed by more than 13,000 participants. More than one-fourth of those surveyed had symptoms of depression, and over one-fifth had anxiety symptoms during the first month of COVID restrictions. This was more than twice the rate of non-COVID periods.

More than 9,000 people completed the second survey. Surprisingly, people who live in areas where restrictions have eased didn’t feel any better than they did during the first survey. It was also surprising that people living in Victoria locked down felt worse than those elsewhere.

Respondents supported planning for the next time, out of all possible policy options. Nearly half of respondents (46%) stated that having a public plan for managing future pandemics would be very helpful in their recovery. This policy option was supported by all genders, ages and places of residence. It also benefited from the greatest socioeconomic support.

More than 30% of respondents rated four other possible policies as very useful. Two were related to mental health, one to individual finances, and one for support for community organizations.

Respondents who identified as female, non-binary, or younger than the rest of the population strongly supported access to face-to–face counselling with a psychiatrist and a doctor asking me questions about my mental health, as well as financial assistance for daily living expenses. They were also more likely than older men to have lost their jobs or been in financial difficulty as a result COVID-19 restrictions. Around one-third of people across all ages rated Additional Support for Community Organisation as very helpful.

Why Policymakers Must Listen

Our study provides insight for policymakers into what Australians think would help us adjust to the fact that COVID-19 will be a part of our lives in the future.

The United Nations already recommends that all countries prepare a response to the effects of the pandemic on mental health. This planning should be based on evidence and, as the OECD suggests, the community must be involve in the final details.

According to the survey, the most popular policy was to make a public pandemic management program available. This is especially notable as the Health Department made a key recommendation following the 2009 H1N1. Pandemic that a comprehensive plan be create for managing pandemics across Australia.

These essential components include effective communications, science-based decision making. And a flexible public healthcare response system that can respond quickly to emergencies.

This recommendation would have likely been implement if Australia had respond to the COVID-19. Pandemic sooner, more efficiently, and with less confusion.

This supports the argument of international disaster risk reduction specialists. That governments must shift their mindsets from if towards when threat future pandemics occur.

As a tired public struggles to make it through yet more lockdowns. Worrying daily updates, and other harrowing situations, they should know the lessons learned. Their mental health recovery will depend on their ability to reassure themselves that Australia is available for next time.

September 16

What Parents And Teachers Can Do Self-Harming

What Parents And Teachers Can Do Self-Harming

Reports indicate that there has been an increase in suicide attempts and self-harm among young people during the pandemic. According to New South Wales, the number of people presenting to emergency rooms for suicidal and self-harming thoughts and self-harm has increased by 47% since the outbreak.

Up to the end of July 2021, there had been 8,489 self-harm presentations to NSW emergency rooms by people up to 17 years old. This is an increase of 6,489 submissions in the year ended July 20 2020. A December 2020 study found that children as young and old as primary school were intentionally harming themselves.

Not enough services like emergency departments and crisis help lines are available to meet the increasing demand for mental health support. There are many things that you can do as a teacher or parent when your student or child has self-harmed.

What Is Self-Harming?

Self-harm is also known as non-suicidal self injury or self-injury. It refers to people who intentionally inflict physical harm on their bodies. Self-harm can include cutting, burning, self-hitting, scratching, and any other behaviour that causes injury, pain, or wounds to the body. Intentionally harming oneself is done to alleviate stress, anxiety, sadness, or to punish self-loathing.

Self-harm can be something that a young person does repeatedly, whether it is once, twice, or multiple times. People who self-harm repeatedly often have mental health issues or experienced significant stress in the past.

Self-harm is often an emotional response to stress and uncertainty. It’s no surprise that rates have risen during the pandemic. Self-harm can help you cope with stress and regain control of your emotions. The relief of emotional pain and self-harm can be achieved through physical pain or self-harm.

What Can You Do To Help Self-Harming?

There are things you can do if you have a child who is attempting to harm themselves. It is important that parents and teachers don’t react with anger, shock, horror, anger, or judgment when their student or child has self-harmed. Many young people feel ashamed after intentionally harming themselves. This leads them to conceal their wounds with jewellery and clothing.

Some people may avoid activities that might expose their wounds such as swimming and other sports. As a parent, or teacher, the second thing you can do is to remove any objects that could be used for self-harm. This should not done to shame or punish the child, but to get rid of any easy access to items that could inflict injury. You can also remind your child that you are not taking these objects away to punish them, but to help.

We instruct young people to delay the urge to self harm and the act of self harm when treating them. This can also achieve by removing self-harming tools. To prevent further injury, it is a good idea to offer activities to distract teens from self-harm such as exercise and cooking.

Some suggest substitution activities to self-harm, such as holding ice on your wrist or snapping a rubber band around your wrist. These are controversial because they are similar behaviours and come from the same self destructive mindset.

How Do Treat The Wounds Of A Child

It is vital that parents, school nurses or first aid-trained staff are able to examine and treat any injuries suffered by children. During this interaction, parents and school staff must be able to show unconditional positive regard to their child and students. You can use comments such as Can you tell us a little about it? Have this ever happened before? Where was this done? and How many times have you done this?

Parents and school staff should also ask. How do your wounds usually heal? These interactions should aim to understand how young people care about their wounds, and teach them about wound care. The next steps of action can be decide by the parents and school staff. These can be discuss with the child to alleviate any concerns about seeking additional help from mental or medical health services. This may involve booking an appointment with their GP or psychologist.

A mental health professional can help the young person address the root causes of self-harm. They will also be able to offer different ways for the young person to cope. They can also determine if the young person has suicidal thoughts. Recently published school policies outline other options for teachers to follow when a student self-harms. Schools should have a policy on self-harm to help teachers. It will outline the steps to take if a student self-harms.

The school policy regarding self-harm must include information on how to support students and parents, how best to talk to parents, how students can avoid self-harm from others, and how teachers can support students who self-harm.

September 16

Improve Our Mental Health Announced Extra Fund

Improve Our Mental Health Announced Extra Fund

Yesterday James Merlino, Victorian Minister of Mental Health. Announced $22 million more funding for mental health support to address the COVID-19 pandemic. This announcement featured $13.3 million to fund 20 pop up community mental health services. With approximately 90 clinicians who will provide 93,000 hours of counselling and well-being checks.

This announcement is a small step in the right direction to address some of the problems with mental health. Services that were identified by the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System. Mental health advocates have welcomed the announcement of new funding.

But, Will It Make Any Difference To The Mental Health Effects Of The Pandemic?

Victoria’s mental state has deteriorated since the pandemic. Mental health experts warned that there would be an increase in suicide. Rates and a decline in mental health early in the pandemic. To reduce the impact of these problems, they called for more resources to treat and prevent health issues. They were right about worsening mental health.

However, Mental Suicide Has Not Increased

Recent data compilations by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and Australian Bureau of Statistics. Show that anxiety and depression symptoms have increased in Australia during the pandemic but decreased to pre-pandemic levels.

However, Victoria has been the most affected state by lockdowns. The prevalence of high levels of psychological distress is still much higher than elsewhere in Australia (27% versus 18%).

Mental Services Are Also In Demand

Data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare also indicate that there has been a significant increase in demand for mental healthcare services.

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, Victorians have had a higher percentage of Medicare-funded health services. Telehealth services were introduced to facilitate some of this increase, which was not possible before.

Victorians are also calling Lifeline more frequently (up 37% between 2019 and 2020), Kids Helpline (up 27%), and Beyond Blue (up 65%) poker pelangi.

What Effect Will The Addition Of Services Have On My Life?

The increasing demand for mental support in Victoria will make the addition services more attractive to those who are currently on waiting lists or clinicians with limited resources.

They won’t have an effect on the severity of the pandemic, which has seen health worsening. There is no reason to expect a decrease in prevalence. In recent decades, Australia has seen significant increases in health services. However, this has not had measurable effects on mental health.

Instead, the prevalence was stable over the 20-year period leading to the pandemic. This is not a unique situation in Australia. Similar results have been seen in high-income countries, where the health status of the population is closely monitored over many years. There has not been a reduction in the prevalence or an increase in treatment.

What Makes It Unlikely That More Services Will Have An Impact On The World?

A lack of quality is one reason why services have not seen a significant increase in their number. Most people suffering from depression and anxiety disorders in Australia don’t receive adequate treatment. Many times, the treatment isn’t evidence-based or too few sessions are required to prove effective.

The number of people who are suffering from milder mental illnesses receiving assistance has increased due to the availability of more funding. However, those with severe or recurring illness are the most vulnerable and are not receiving adequate care.

Services are not likely to have a significant impact because they don’t address the risk factors that lead to the worsening mental health during a pandemic. Loneliness due to social isolation, financial stress and the need to balance childcare and homeschooling while working remotely are all risk factors.

In my previous arguments, I argued that income and employment support are better than health services for addressing the mental impact of the pandemic. Although governments can take steps to reduce these risk factors, the main impact will likely be the lifting of lockdowns, which allows for social contact, schooling, and work to resume. These benefits are important motivators for achieving this goal and require greater vaccination coverage.