In Focus

Is it OK to admit I’m struggling? COVID-19 and mental health awareness

The aviation sector has been hit harder than maybe any other by the pandemic. Here, Hannah Dowling speaks to the experts to discuss why it’s difficult to admit you’re feeling anxious, stressed or depressed, and what you can do to get on the road to recovery

Research suggests one in five Australians will suffer with a diagnosable mental illness within their lifetime, and this figure is expected to increase over the next 20 years. However, this statistic doesn’t take into account the COVID-19 global pandemic, which has seen millions of Australians now living on a reduced income – or none at all. In Australia, it resulted in unprecedented government intervention, which restricted individual movement and placed millions of jobs in a state of flux.

In light of the devastating impact on employment, Australia’s deputy chief medical officer for mental health, Ruth Vine, has predicted serious mental health problems could spike by 25 per cent in the aftermath of COVID-19. At the same time, rates of psychological distress, including anxiety, stress, grief, substance abuse and depression, could be astronomical. As such, a recent survey conducted by Momentum Intelligence, a sister company to Australian Aviation’s publisher, aimed to uncover the personal impact of the virus on mental wellbeing, taking a targeted approach that studied individuals across a range of industries that have been exposed to varying levels of economic fallout amid the pandemic, including aviation, law, real estate, accounting and more.

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