On the back of a report to the State Government highlighting the increasing mental health crisis, Victorians need more detail on the plan out of lockdown, including the benchmarks for easing of restrictions.
Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, who has supported calls from health experts for greater freedoms in areas where no cases or exposure sites exist, said communities deserve more information than what they are being given.
“A damning report to Government this week showed we are seeing a massive increase in hospital admissions from our youth for mental health reasons. There is also an increasing number of business people in great stress with the prospect of having to shut the doors.
“The worst thing is, people need a plan and we don’t have one. NSW has announced a staged return to school from October 25, with all students returning by November 8.
“The report showed more than 340 teenagers a week have been admitted to hospital suffering mental health emergencies in Victoria. The six-week average is a 57 per cent increase on the corresponding period last year.
“It also revealed an average of 156 teens a week are rushed to hospital after self-harming and suffering suicidal thoughts, an 88 per cent increase on last year,” said Mr Bull.
Apart from needing a pathway out of lockdown and some light at the end of the tunnel, Mr Bull said there were still obvious failures that had not been addressed.
“We continue to have this absurd situation where people from Gippsland are bailed up in Goondiwindi, Queensland, because they cannot get to Victoria in the 24 hours allowed.
“Here we have a government telling us constantly not to drive while drowsy, but they are forcing these people, almost all seniors, to do this 1200km trip in 24 hours, it is madness.
“How is sleeping in a caravan an extra few hours going to increase the health risk,” he said
“In addition to this, there are people just over the border in NSW wanting to get home who are not being allowed. You can cross the border for work, education, shopping for essential items and caregiving, but returning home is not a reason, despite these people having been tested multiple times, self-isolating and many are fully vaccinated.
“Surely having COVID-free residents back at their home is a preferred outcome, especially when crossing the border for community sport or supermarket shopping is allowed.
“To top off the lunacy of all this, those locals bailed up in Eden, Merimbula and Tathra who have to get home for medical appointments, are now told they can do so with a permit, but then have to travel back to NSW rather than go to their home five minutes away from the medical clinic.”
Monday, 30 August 2021