Australia’s youth suicide crisis laid bare: Disturbing new figures reveal cases have DOUBLED in Covid-stricken year
- Figures confirm an increase in suicide attempts by children and young adults
- Duty of care interventions were 99 per cent higher than last year
- Figures from Kids Helpline show a shocking 862 suicide attempts
The extent of Australia’s youth suicide crisis has been exposed in new figures which showed a disturbing number of young Australians have attempted to take their life in the past 6 months.
Figures released by Kids Helpline has shown there were 862 attempted suicides recorded in people aged 5-25 and that the amount of interventions to help vulnerable youngsters had doubled in the space of one year.
The Kids Helpline said heightened levels of despair and depression through the Covid-19 lockdowns was a major contributory factor in the increase.
The amount of interventions to help vulnerable young Australians has doubled
A duty of care intervention – in which Kids Helpline make contact with police, child safety or ambulance services because a child or young person is at imminent risk – almost doubled in the same period.
Such interventions were 99 per cent higher nationally in the period from December 2020 to the end of May this year compared to the same period a year ago.
Suicide attempts made up 38 per cent of those interventions, and child abuse interventions comprised 35 per cent across Australia.
‘We feared an increase in child vulnerability as a result of the pandemic and ensuing lockdowns, however the current spike in emergency interventions on behalf of children and young people across Australia is very disturbing,’ said YourTown CEO Tracy Adams.
‘It is very clear that the pandemic is taking a toll on the lives of children and young people, however, thankfully by young people seeking help Kids Helpline has supported 862 suicide prevention interventions nationally in the past six months.’
862 suicide interventions were record in the last 6 months
Victoria, which had the longest lockdowns and most deaths from Covid during 2020, saw the greatest increase in suicide interventions, jumping 189 per cent to 294 incidences.
New South Wales had a 40 per cent increase in duty of care interventions. 44 per cent of those were in response to child abuse, and 35 per cent to an immediate intent to enact suicide.
Queensland saw a 46 per cent increase in duty of care interventions, 40% of those being in response to immediate intent to enact suicide.