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Victoria’s chief psychiatrist Dr Neil Coventry has urged families struggling with their mental health during the state’s extended lockdown to seek help.
Speaking in Thursday’s COVID-19 update, he said people should take advantage of professional services, as well as their social networks like family and friends.
“We have to identify the people who find this extremely difficult and we have to reach out,” Dr Coventry said.
He said parents can help their children by doing simple things, like maintaining normal routines while on lockdown.
âThis is especially important when we are currently facing the home schooling situation, to get that balance between studying, relaxing downtime …â said Dr Coverty.
âIt’s really important to recognize the feelings of children, to recognize them and to help them understand how they can deal with these stressors that they are going through. “
He said it was very important for parents to talk to their children about how they were doing.
Dr Ric Haslam, director of mental health at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, echoed the sentiment. He said staff saw children with anxiety, depression, self-harm, suicidal behavior and eating disorders.
“We have also seen an increase in the number of young people exhibiting aggression, both verbal and physical, and these are often children who may have developmental difficulties, such as autism spectrum disorders,” he said. declared.
Dr Haslam said a number of measures have been put in place to support families facing these issues.
âMy key message for parents is that there is great, reliable and reliable information available to you,â he said.
âIn particular, I would direct you to the old children’s hospital website, where you will find links and resources, podcasts and other information that will help you.
“What parents really need is to know how to support their children during this time, and also how to recognize that their child or adolescent may be having difficulty.”
If you or someone you know needs assistance, call Safety rope at 131 114, or Beyond Blue’s Coronavirus Mental Wellness Support Service the 1800 512 348.