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The age group suffering the biggest mental health hit during lockdown

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New research has revealed the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected the mental health of young people.

Six-in-10 people helped other during the first wave of COVID-19 by delivering food, doing chores or shopping for others, the Australian Institute of Family Studies research revealed.

But Australians were not as good at looking after themselves.

The study found one-in-five Australians required mental health support services during lockdown, but fewer than half had accessed them.

Those in remote areas and younger people reported the largest mental health hit as a result of the lockdown.

In remote areas, 25 per cent of people said they needed access to mental health services, but 67 per cent said they couldn’t access them.

Young people aged under 29 were more likely than any other age group to need mental health support and counselling, but they were also the most unable to access them.

Deputy Director and research expert from the Australian Institute of Family Studies, Kelly Hand, said that’s because younger people are more likely to rely on those outside their household.

“Our friends are our most important people in our 20s and in our teens and as we grow older … our gaze tends to shift to looking after our family,” she told Ross and Russel.

“All the research that has been undertaken recently has found that young people are the most hard hit from the pandemic, so I think families have an important role to play, even if it’s just being there and making sure we’re available to support our young people whenever they need us.”

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