Young Australians adapting to the impact of COVID-19 are putting themselves at risk by not accessing health services when they need it, a survey suggests.
The latest research by Youth Insight shows young people aged 14 to 25 are continuing to adapt to the educational, work and day-to-day challenges of 2020’s global pandemic.
But despite being able to adjust, many young people say they are still not accessing the health services they need.
Previous research by Reach Out and the Black Dog Institute shows it is a concern that existed long before COVID-19 restricted our lives.
“Research tells us, very clearly, that delaying or avoiding treatment can have severe consequences for people’s health and independence,” says Sarah Denness, Head of Customer at Konekt.
“Every day our team see the negative impact on our clients’ ability to work and function, and I cannot emphasise enough the importance of early treatment for all health concerns.”
Opportunity for change
For employers and leaders, we still have more to do to support our younger team members.
With a notable gap in mental health support as half of respondents saying they didn't ask for help when they needed it.
While others resist going to the dentist, visit their GP or seek help from a pharmacist.
Leaders need to encourage and promote access to health support.
Talking about health challenges, role modelling help-seeking behaviours, and making programs easily accessible are simple and effective tools.
Where to go for help and information
- Headspace offers free online counselling to young Australians, as well as information like what to expect from a GP
- Check if your workplace EAP program offers support to family members
- HeadsUp’s free resources help leaders support their teams