Kids Helpline is urging state and federal governments to consider the country’s long-term economic future, with the release of disturbing trends into the mental health and emotional wellbeing of young Australians.
The annual Kids Helpline Overview has revealed children and young people are facing increasingly serious concerns that could impact on their ability to continue their education, enter the workforce, sustain a job and contribute to their community.
Kids Helpline General Manager Wendy Protheroe said that more than ever before, the next generation of workers and tax payers are dealing with issues such as mental health, homeless and unresolved trauma, which negatively affect their ability to work.
‘Almost half of all counselling sessions now have to do with mental health-related concerns and almost a third are with young people in acute crisis,’ Ms Protheroe said.
Over the last eight years, Kids Helpline has seen an increase in young people experiencing difficulties coping with or managing emotions such as anxiety, sadness, distress and anger and how they respond to situations, including violent responses and self-harming behaviour.
‘Last year, almost one in five counselling sessions had to do with this issue and it had become so serious that for the first time in 20 years it overshadowed family relationships as the top concern for children and young people,’ Ms Protheroe said.
‘Additionally, when we look at mental health concerns, irrespective of the primary issue young people contacted us about, they were raised in almost 31,000 counselling sessions.
‘This has led to longer counselling sessions and more duty-of-care interventions for issues such as suicide attempts where we contact an emergency service, such as ambulance or police.’
Kids Helpline’s duty-of-care responses have more than doubled over the past five years, with more than 1,100 interventions undertaken last year to ensure the safety of a child or young person.
‘Forty-five per cent of our counselling sessions are with young people we work with on a regular basis, including those with severe, complex and long-standing issues, who need intensive support and case management plans,’ Ms Protheroe said.
‘Last year, we responded to more than 270,000 phone and online contacts from across the country.
‘This was only achieved through support from the community and corporate sectors, who contribute 80 per cent of our funding.’
See more at http://www.kidshelp.com.au/