Legistrative Council E-Petitions

E-petition Number
249
Title
Ease COVID-19 lockdown rules and support mental health
Grievance
The Petition of certain citizens of the State of Victoria draws to the attention of the Legislative Council that the COVID-19 lockdown must be eased immediately. These restrictions have greatly impacted the mental health of Victorians, an issue which has failed to be handled appropriately. While saving one life is important, preventing an increase in suicide rates should be treated with equal importance.

A single suicide resulting due to the lockdown can be viewed as being worse than acquiring an extra 100 cases of COVID-19. Death rates from the COVID-19 virus are hovering around one per cent in Australia. We have seen that the risk of suicide is higher among young Australians and singles. If one life is taken too early, for instance, at the age of 15, due to the tight lockdowns, that is potentially 60 to 70 years of life lost.

We cannot model something we do not fully understand, the effects of the impacts on mental health are unlikely to have been considered appropriately, especially in these unprecedented times. Additionally, waiting lists for mental health support are already several months long. Doctors and mental health care workers are also exhibiting increased absenteeism due to lockdowns further impacting the mental health system.

Can a price really be put on a life? The possibility of extinguishing the virus appears bleak in Victoria. Melbourne is under the harshest lockdown in the world. No one is going to applaud us for our unique lockdown strategy in the future if it results in long term mental health issues.
Action
The petitioners therefore request that the Legislative Council call on the Government to ease the COVID-19 lockdown immediately and boost funding and resources for mental health support services in an effort to boost mental health advertising, provide relief for mental health workers and provide incentives for overseas and interstate support to supplement existing, overwhelmed mental health systems.
Closing Date
2020-10-23
Not tabled signatures
312
Total signatures including previously tabled
312
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Sponsor
Ms Fiona Patten