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Calls for mental health cases to be reported alongside COVID-19 numbers

Neil Mitchell
Article image for Calls for mental health cases to be reported alongside COVID-19 numbers

One of Australia’s leading mental health advocates says he’d like to see Victoria’s mental health case numbers listed alongside COVID-19 cases each day.

A report obtained by The Australian revealed a 57 per cent increase in young people turning up at hospitals for mental health emergencies.

Professor Patrick McGorry told Neil Mitchell there had a been a “very significant surge” in cases.

But he worries it’s still not being treated seriously.

“We need people to understand that a death from mental illness is just as dead as a person from physical illness,” he told Neil Mitchell.

“People have really resisted that.

“They have downplayed the importance of suicides and suicidal behaviour.

“You see that in any emergency department – the people in mental distress are at the bottom of the queue.”

Professor McGorry said the recent spike was no surprise, citing a media briefing he attended with the government last year.

“We said there was going to be a 30 per cent increase and that’s exactly what we are seeing now,” he said.

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Neil Mitchell
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