BACKGROUND COLOUR

Are Australian kids getting the mental health support they need?

COVID-19 has negatively impacted the mental health of the majority of children and young people, as reported by parents. At the same time, parents have noted substantial barriers to accessing mental health support services.

61 %

COVID-19 has negatively impacted the mental health of almost two thirds – 61% – of children and young people, as reported by parents.

71 %

A large portion of young people aged 15 to 18 – 71% – were reported by parents to have had worsening mental health due to COVID-19.

40 %

The mental health of children aged 0-4 has been relatively less affected, with only 40% of children reported by parents to have had worsening mental health over the pandemic.

41 %

For parents who sought services for child mental health support, 41% noted that this was difficult or very difficult.

Impact of COVID-19 on the mental health of Australian children aged 2 years and over, August 2021
What would you say the impact of COVID-19 has been on the mental health of child?
Sources & Methodology
Variable description By sex, as reported by adult respondent
Variable time span August 2021
Published by ANU Poll
Publisher Link https://csrm.cass.anu.edu.au/research/publications/impact-covid-19-child-mental-health-and-service-barriers-perspective-parents
Data Source doi:10.26193/YB3CXX
CSV Data
PNG Image
CHART
SOURCES
DOWNLOAD
For about one-in-ten children (10 per cent), COVID-19 has had a large negative impact.

For children aged 2 years and over, parents and carers report that COVID-19 has had a small negative impact for slightly more than half of children and young people (51 per cent). For about one-in-ten children (10 per cent), COVID-19 has had a large negative impact. Around one-third (35 per cent) thought that COVID-19 had no impact on the child’s mental health, 4 per cent said it had a small positive impact, and 1 per cent said that it had a large positive impact.

Proportion of Australian children reported to have worsening mental health due to COVID-19, August 2021
What would you say the impact of COVID-19 has been on the mental health of child? 1. Large positive impact 2. Small positive impact 3. No impact 4. Small negative impact 5. Large negative impact
Sources & Methodology
Variable description By age, as reported by adult respondent
Variable time span August 2021
Published by ANU Poll
Publisher Link https://csrm.cass.anu.edu.au/research/publications/impact-covid-19-child-mental-health-and-service-barriers-perspective-parents
Data Source doi:10.26193/YB3CXX
CSV Data
PNG Image
CHART
SOURCES
DOWNLOAD
The mental health of adolescents and young adults aged 15 to 18 is of particular concern.

Parents were significantly more likely to report that COVID-19 had a negative impact for older children. 71 per cent of young people aged 15-18 were reported to have had a worsening in mental health outcomes due to COVID-19. This is compared to 63 per cent of young people aged 10-14, 62 per cent of children aged 5-9, and 40 per cent of children aged 2-4.

Ease in accessing services for Australian adults who sought help for children, August 2021
Did you seek help for a support service for the following issues for children in your household? a) Health/medical issues b) Mental health support c) Academic progress/tutoring

For those who responded yes: How easy or difficult was it to seek help from support services for the following issues? 1. Very easy 2. Easy 3. Neither easy nor difficult 4. Difficult 5. Very difficult
Sources & Methodology
Variable description By service
Variable time span August 2021
Published by ANU Poll
Publisher Link https://csrm.cass.anu.edu.au/research/publications/impact-covid-19-child-mental-health-and-service-barriers-perspective-parents
Data Source doi:10.26193/YB3CXX
CSV Data
PNG Image
CHART
SOURCES
DOWNLOAD
Parents report having the most difficulty accessing mental health support.

Of all support services asked about, parents report having the most difficulty accessing mental health support. Of parents who sought mental health services, 12 per cent reported access as being very difficult, and 29 per cent reported access being difficult. In contrast, only 4 per cent of parents who sought help for health/medical issues reported this being very difficult to access, and only 5 per cent reported it being very difficult to access academic progress/tutoring support.