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Youth mental health in Aotearoa New Zealand: greater urgency required

COVID-19 Pandemics Youth suicide Mental health Youth New Zealand

In light of worsening mental health among New Zealand youth over the past decade, a new Koi Tū commentary piece is calling for urgent action to better understand the underlying factors and effective strategies for prevention and intervention. Youth mental health in Aotearoa New Zealand: Greater urgency required warns that the ‘silent pandemic’ of mental health morbidity among NZ and other youth globally, exacerbated by COVID-19, will have adverse lifelong consequences if not addressed as a matter of priority.

Key Insights

  • There is a silent pandemic of mental morbidity amongst the global youth population which will have adverse lifecourse consequences
  • The last decade has seen a rapid and concerning rise in youth psychological distress and suicide rates
  • Nationally, poor mental health for youth is persistently inequitable and worsening
  • Impacts of COVID-19 on youth mental health is likely to be extensive and enduring
  • Protection and promotion of mental wellbeing for youth is now a matter of urgency.
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