The inhumane and inconsistent world of COVID

As a Premier who cared enough about mental health to hold a royal commission into Victoria’s mental health system, it is surprising that Danile Andrews can now turn a blind eye to Children’s “mental anguish, despair and suicidal thoughts” due to the continuing lockdown (Despairing doctor’s plea to Premier on lockdown”, 30/9).

As Dr Stacey Harris revealed, she has had to prescribe antidepressants for 12-15-year-olds, but access to mental health professionals is “now almost impossible and/or the wait is too long”. That such young people whose brains aren’t fully developed are taking this medication is tragic, demanding Andrews ‘ urgent attention and an end to his lockdown.

Moreover, a friend of mine, an ICU nurse in a large Melbourne public hospital, told me a couple of days ago that staff are now more concerned about the increasing number of self-harming patients presenting to emergency than they are about COVID. Those presenting are across all age groups.

It is imperative the Premier listen to Dr Harris and the nine other doctors to ensure young people can resume social normalcy before another great crisis, if it’s not already, presents.

Millions of dollars invested in the mental health system is certainly helpful, but seeing friends and family and returning to school would cost nothing and be far more therapeutic than a packet of pills.