Kids Helpline, a service of yourtown, has today announced that duty of care interventions to protect children and young people were 99% higher nationally from 1st December 2020 – 31st May 2021 compared to the same period a year ago.
Dave chats with Kids Helpline manager Tony Fitzgerald who exp0lains the escalation over the past 6 months is largely related to: suicide attempts (38%) and child abuse (35%).
“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 in Victoria is very disturbing.
“Victoria has had an increase of 184% in duty of care interventions enacted by Kids Helpline on behalf of children and young people for the period 1 December 2020 – 31 May 2021 vs the same period a year ago.
“Kids Helpline’s Victorian data over the last six months reveals that 75% of emergency interventions were for young people aged 13 – 18 years of age. For those children and young people aged between 5 – 25 years of age, 44% of emergency interventions over the past 6 months in Victoria have been in response to an immediate intent to enact suicide with child abuse accounting for 31%
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.
“Since the pandemic Kids Helpline has employed an additional 100 counsellors to assist us in dealing with the increased demand on Kids Helpline counselling service arising from COVID-19, through funding support from the Commonwealth, State Governments and Community,” said Ms Adams.
We know that prevention and early intervention can reduce the impact of mental health issues, so now more than ever we encourage children and young people who want to talk to someone about any issue of concern to them, to contact Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week or use email or web counselling services. www.kidshelpline.com.au
Facebook: @kidshelpline, Insta @kidshelplineau, Twitter @KidsHelplineAU