(New Zealand) Otago: Mental health concerns; 'We are seeing more students ...; more severe

May 11, 2018, (New Zealand) Otago Daily Times: Mental health concerns Rising numbers of young Otago people with mental health problems - including children as young as 10 with suicidal tendencies - are challenging schools and tertiary institutions, providers say. Last year, the University of Otago decided to restructure its student mental health services due to growing demand for mental health appointments Ms Andrews said she wanted trained counsellors not only in high schools but in primary and intermediate schools. The increasing problems in younger children seemed to coincide with the introduction of National Standards, which have now been ditched, she said. Youthline Otago manager Brian Lowe said his organisation - geared towards 12-to-24-year-olds - had observed an increase in calls from teens and people in their 20s dealing with depression and anxiety. ... New Zealand Association of Counsellors Otago representative Jean Andrews, who worked in a high school, said in the past two years there had been an increase in mental health problems in the region including suicidal thoughts in children as early as year 7. "The youngest one I know of is 10," she said. "We are seeing more students all the time; they are getting more severe."