One in ten Australians living in the state of Victoria have said they “seriously considered suicide” during the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, according to a new survey.
In its latest issue, the Journal of Psychiatric Research reported that one in ten of over a thousand Victorians surveyed “reported having seriously considered suicide in the prior 30 days” when the poll was taken in September 2020.
Furthermore, one in five Victorians experienced suicidal thoughts during lockdown, while one-third said they suffered “anxiety or depressive disorder symptoms.”
Shockingly, the survey also revealed that 12.3% of Victorians had “started or increased substance use to cope with the pandemic,” while over 20% had experienced insomnia during lockdown.
Mark Czeisler, the author of the report, told ABC News that the survey results showed “concerningly high levels of adverse mental and behavioural health symptoms” and that it was important for those people suffering mental health problems to realize they were not alone.
Victoria has experienced some of Australia’s toughest and longest lockdowns due to it being the state with the highest number of Covid-19 cases.
Victoria has recorded over 20,000 of Australia’s total 30,000 coronavirus cases, and 820 of the country’s 910 deaths – far more than the next-highest states of New South Wales (5,695 cases), Queensland (1,679) and Western Australia (1,021).
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Victoria police have been criticized for their heavy-handed approach to dealing with suspected coronavirus restriction-breakers, with several videos of alleged brutality going viral online. Anti-lockdown protests have also been held in the state.
This week, it was revealed that recent spikes of children in England being prescribed antidepressants had coincided with Covid-19 lockdowns, when they were kept inside and away from school, friends and extended family.