As young people within the region and around the state continue to deal with the ever-changing landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ballarat organisation headspace has made some suggestions to try and assist from a mental health standpoint.
More than 300,000 young Victorians sought help from the online service ReachOut since restrictions began in the state in March.
Young people in Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire have reported increased stress levels since returning to lockdown. A similar feeling may be taking hold in the Ballarat region, as positive cases of COVID-19 increase.
Clinical Lead/Specialist Youth Clinician at headspace Ballarat Allison Boucher suggested a number of support avenues for those looking for assistance.
COVID-19 has presented unforeseen challenges to the community as a whole.Clinical Lead/Specialist Youth Clinician at headspace Ballarat Allison Boucher
"These challenges can impact on the mental health of young people, particularly in regards to their study, employment, relationships and social/recreational activities.
"Given this disruption in normality, there are a number of supports that can contribute to improving or maintaining good mental health. We would encourage any young people to seek support."
Looking into how to assist young people struggling with mental health issues, headspace has launched a number of tips which they encouraged people to look into.
They include limiting exposure to news stories, particularly if they are causing you distress - relying on reputable news sources if viewing media, maintaining health sleep patterns and eating, following a 'normal' daily routine and maintaining your mental health as well as your physical health.
Other agencies have also voiced their concern about youth mental health during the pandemic.
As previously reported by The Courier, Kids Helpline, a service of yourtown catering to people within the ages of five and 25, revealed data that children and young people are contacting Kids Helpline in increasing numbers relating to significant issues around Child abuse, Mental Health, Self-harm and Suicidality.
yourtown CEO Tracy Adams added the increase in visits to the Kids Helpline website has been greater than expected.
"We knew an increase in child vulnerability was going to occur, but this is deeper than we had expected," she said.
"As the community continues to battle the personal and economic impacts of COVID-19, we are seeing firsthand the repercussions that the pandemic is having on both the mental health and safety of the nation's youngest generations."
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