This post deals with suicide and might be triggering for some readers.
For a 10-year-old child living in Australia, the COVID-19 pandemic has been happening for 15 per cent of their life.
And as the Delta variant refuses to loosen its grip on our country, the mental health crisis caused by ongoing lockdowns, particularly among younger Australians, is growing.
As Dr Ruth Vine, Deputy Chief Medical Officer for Mental Health wrote in an opinion piece on the Australian government website, "Australia is facing one of the most significant mental health challenges in our history."
She noted that there had been a particular increase in younger people presenting in distress, something which has been compounded by feelings of helplessness and isolation.
Watch: How to tell if lockdowns are affecting your children. Post continues after video.
Last week The Australian got its hands on a confidential Victorian government report that showed an average of 342 children, aged up to 17, were presenting to emergency departments every week suffering mental health emergencies.
The 16-page document revealed an average of 156 teens a week were rushed to hospital after self-harming and suffering suicidal ideation, an 88 per cent increase on last year.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports NSW emergency department visits for self-harm and suicidal ideation are up 31 per cent for children and teenagers compared with last year.
As Professor Tim Soutphommasane, Director of Culture Strategy at the University of Sydney told Mamamia's daily news podcast The Quicky, "One of my colleagues at the University of Sydney who is a clinician at Westmead Hospital and who works as a pediatrician said to me this week, he's finding more children presenting to him in his emergency department with anxiety than he is with children presenting with COVID symptoms."
The risk of Delta to children has been of utmost concern in recent weeks and months, as it's become apparent that kids are contracting this variant more than any others.