Lead letter

Families must be set free

SUSIE O’Brien starkly highlights the tragic irony about the incidence of kids’ suicides since the pandemic started, demanding an immediate change in the government’s agenda to prevent more young deaths (“How can we ignore this toll?”, Opinion, 31/8).

Unequivocally, “the statistics are frightening”. With media reports about family violence increasing during the pandemic, it seems unsurprising that children and young people’s mental health has been negatively impacted.

The closure of many businesses, the loss of jobs and the worry about finances are enormous stresses and, while many parents are endeavouring to maintain stability and sanity at home, there can unfortunately be unintended and deleterious consequences.

Young people are probably the most vulnerable in maintaining psychological equilibrium when their families are torn apart by incessant worries about basic necessities such as food, warmth and shelter, let alone cosy conviviality and comfort.

Hopefully, the government does not continue to ignore the toll in our society, so children can return to the playground and find some welcome solace with their friends at school, and intolerable pressures on families can be alleviated.