The variety of younger individuals looking for assist for the misery they skilled throughout the pandemic elevated by 54pc between April and Might this 12 months – with a notable enhance within the variety of 12 to 16-year-old women looking for assist, based on a number one psychological well being charity.
r Joseph Duffy, CEO of the Jigsaw psychological well being charity for youth, stated there was a 54pc enhance within the variety of younger individuals being referred for its providers when Covid-19 restrictions had been eased between April and Might this 12 months, in comparison with the identical interval final 12 months.
Notably there was a rise within the variety of 12 to16 year-old women looking for assist, he instructed the Oireachtas sub- committee on psychological well being at the moment which was holding a listening to into the influence of the pandemic on the psychological well being of youth.
“Our information reveals that ranges of psychological misery amongst these we’ve got supported have been comparatively secure for these aged 17 to 25 however there was a slight however statistically important enhance in misery ranges for younger individuals 12-16,” he instructed the committee.
The variety of younger individuals presenting with considerations over nervousness elevated barely – from 60pc to 65pc – together with these affected by sleep disturbances – from 31pc to 36pc – he famous.
“While nervousness has persistently been the highest presenting situation for younger individuals partaking with our providers each pre and submit pandemic, the elements contributing to that nervousness and the way in which it manifests throughout the pandemic is totally different and clearly formed by the distinctive circumstances over the previous 15 months,” he stated.
The variety of women aged 12 to 16 looking for assist has elevated throughout the pandemic, who now account for 44pc of their shoppers in comparison with 35pc in 2019, he stated.
“Younger individuals, particularly, have been disproportionally impacted over the course of this pandemic – important disruptions to schooling; vital milestones and transitions misplaced; alternatives for developmentally vital social interactions eliminated; employment alternatives all however worn out. For a lot of, they see their future unreaslised and certainly a youth unspent,” he stated.
However even earlier than the pandemic struck “Covid has solely exacerbated a worsening scenario concerning our collective psychological well being,” he added.
“Lengthy earlier than Covid, psychological well being providers throughout major and secondary care had been overstretched, disjointed and under-resourced. Lengthy earlier than Covid, charges of self-harm had been on the rise and younger individuals throughout the nation had been experiencing important ranges of tension and stress. Suicide was, and stays, the largest reason behind loss of life amongst Eire’s younger individuals aged 15-24.
”Ready lists for major psychological well being providers had been “excessively lengthy” employees recruitment was a problem and “total funding in psychological well being was effectively under our worldwide counterparts” regardless of the rising demand for such providers, he added.
“So, Covid, for all the extra challenges it has introduced, has, in our opinion, merely exacerbated an already dire scenario when it comes to youth psychological well being,” he stated.
Talking earlier than the assembly, committee chairperson Senator Frances Black stated: “All ages group has been uniquely impacted by the general public well being restrictions imposed in response to Covid-19.”