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  • New study reveals coronavirus outbreak impacts mental health

    Author: AAP

A new study will look at the long term impacts of coronavirus on Australians' mental health, with people already suffering as a result of the pandemic.

Australians are suffering worse mental health as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, new research shows.

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A Swinburne University survey released on Tuesday says people reported being depressed, stressed or anxious up to five times more than they were before the outbreak.

Young people, women or people who already had a mental health condition were more likely to be experiencing negative emotions as a result of the virus.

The survey found Australians were reporting three times more negative emotions in the first days of social isolation compared to what they reported to a 2019 survey.


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People with existing mental health conditions were reporting up to five and half times more negative emotions.

Professor Susan Rossell, who is heading the study, told AAP Australians were more concerned about their friends and family than themselves.

Another concerned demographic was middle aged Australians with kids at home.

Professor Rossell said the country's mental health system was already at capacity.

"We're going to have all these extra people who wouldn't have normally had any kind of mental health problems seeking psychological support," she said.

The study will go for five years, with Professor Rossell pointing to the long term mental health impacts of events like September 11 or other pandemics.

"Those long term impacts need to be considered in terms of policy development for mental health services," she said.

The study involves 5500 Australians, but researchers are still looking for more participants, especially people from outside Victoria and NSW, as each state handled coronavirus differently.

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