By Dr Kathryn Mainstone, NCWQ Health Adviser
In my July Report, I drew attention to the National Youth Mental Health Foundation survey which found that of the 3,575 young people who received services at a Headspace centre between 25th May and 5th June 2020, 74% reported that their mental health was worse since the outbreak of COVID-19 1.
Between 16th March 2020 and 25th April 2021, over 15.0 million MBS-subsidised mental health-related services were processed nationally (almost $1.7 billion benefits paid)2. Given that in Queensland between 2014-15 and 2017-18, women’s mental and behavioural health problems increased from 20.1% to 24.3% 3, this could be a serious issue.
As part of a recent submission to the Office of Women and Violence Prevention, Department of Justice and Attorney-General, Queensland Government on the New Queensland Women Strategy, a segment on mental health included the above facts with the following recommendations to address the issue:
That the Queensland Government:
- Promote the education of GPs regarding what resources in the community are available for them to refer the patients to. It appears that online resources are far more apparent in the US and the UK than they are in Australia. Perhaps this is one thing which the government could fund reasonably easily?
- Increase funding to mental health services across the state by approximately 50%.
Dr Kathryn Mainstone, NCWQ Health Advisor, MBBS(Qld), DRCOG,FRACGP
- 2020 Gender Equality Report Cards. Queensland Women’s Strategy 2016-21. Dept. of Children, Youth Justice and Multicultural Affairs
background photo credit: https://headspace.org.au/assets/Uploads/COVID-Client-Impact-Report-FINAL-11-8-20.pdf
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