(Australia) Mental health issues among students: 'I've never seen anything like it'

Aug 14, 2017, The Australian: Students’ mental health crisis exposed Children as young as seven are among dozens of pupils who have attempted suicide, self-harmed in front of classmates and in one case killed themselves, according to highly confidential government documents. Victorian government reports this month on the schoolyard mental health crisis detail horrific accounts of illness and self-harm facing children from Year 2 to Year 12. They include the reported death of a Year 12 student and other shocking details including potential hangings or chokings, self harming with a knife and transgender related psychological distress. The incidents highlight the challenges facing educators and parents and will provoke debate about the causes of high mental illness rates affecting many young people across Australia. Child psychologist Michael Carr-Gregg said as many as one in every seven pupils in primary school and one in four in secondary schools had endured mental health issues. He said youth suicide was at its worst levels in 10 years and he urged more strident action from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. “This is a generation that is really struggling; I’ve never seen anything like it,” he said. … He also said the earlier onset of puberty had meant that mental health issues were arising earlier in some children.