The Health News Australia May 7 2018

The Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Melbourne have discovered that the number of mental health presentations tripled for children aged between 10-14 and 15-19 between 2008 and 2015. In Victoria particularly, there has been a major rise in the number of young people seeking help for mental health issues particularly at emergency departments, with many families unaware their children are suffering until they experience physical symptoms.

According to research by the The Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Melbourne, the number of mental health presentations tripled for children aged between ten to fourteen and fifteen to nineteen between two thousand eight and two thousand fifteen. Also there has been a major rise in the number of young people seeking help for mental health issues particularly at Victoria’s emergency departments, with many families unaware their children are suffering until they experience physical symptoms.

This is considered to be the first study of its kind in Australia to examine trends in the health presentations of children in Victoria’s emergency departments. The study followed young people from birth to the age of nineteen. Among the fifty two thousand children who presented with mental health disorders during the seven-year period, the most conditions they had were depression, anxiety, self-harm and drug and alcohol issues.

Researcher and paediatrician Harriet Hiscock said that many families didn’t realize their child was suffering from a mental health issue until they sought help at hospital. The families who participated in the study said that they were unable to access help for their children due to several issues such as affordability, extremely long waiting lists and a lack of knowledge about where to find support.

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