Abigail passed a motion calling on the Government to commit to supporting young people affected by the Covid-19 pandemic through funding and by listening to their voices.
Ms ABIGAIL BOYD (10:17): I move:
(1) That this House notes that according to a report by Orygen and Mission Australia entitled Clusters of Covid-19 Impact: Identifying the impact of Covid-19 on young Australians in 2021 published in May 2022, which was based on a national survey of 20,000 people aged 15 to 19 during 2021's pandemic and lockdowns:
(a)more than 70 per cent of students whose studies were disrupted by the pandemic faced high levels of psychological distress;
(b)transgender and gender diverse young people were twice as likely to report adverse mental health effects than their peers;
(c)young people in Victoria and New South Wales were most strongly affected compared to the rest of Australia, with 57 per cent of young people in New South Wales reporting multiple and diverse negative impacts across a range of life domains, including mental health, participation in activities, education, employment, financial security and housing;
(d)there is urgent need for more funding for specialist youth mental health services, such as Headspace, to help young people who are struggling with mental health issues; and
(e)young people and their families are at a significantly high risk of homelessness, and there is an urgent need for increased screening for homelessness in all schools along with increased supports for these individuals and their families.
(2)That this House calls on the Government to:
(a)take direct action to increase funding for and access to publicly funded mental health services for young people, and to improve mental health risk screening and supports offered through schools and workplaces; and
(b)commit to listen to the voices of young people so that the negative impacts of the pandemic do not cause further and ongoing problems for young people.
See the full transcript in Hansard here.