A spike in the number of young people reaching out for mental and physical support has led to a surge in emergency interventions during the coronavirus pandemic.
Youth mental health service Kids Helpline has recorded a 43 per cent increase in emergency "duty of care" interventions in the first four months of 2020, particularly for young people in the eastern states of Australia.
Counsellors are having to call emergency or youth protective services to help young people struggling with suicidal concerns or child abuse.
The group has seen a 17 per cent increase in emergency interventions for young people intending to enact suicide compared to the same period in 2019.
"Young people have been restricted in terms of their social contacts. Anxiety and fear about COVID-19 means that mental health disorders have increased and many young people have lost their jobs bringing up fear and concern about their long term future," yourtown Head of Strategy and Research John Dalgleish told AAP.
"Those impacts in terms of mental health issues have led to suicidal thoughts and concerns."
Yourtown is the charity which runs Kids Helpline.
The number of child abuse emergency interventions has also increased by 43 per cent in the first four months this year, from 95 cases last year to 136 cases this year.
"There is an association between social isolation and increased family tension. In some families that can lead to more abusive behaviour in the home," Mr Dalgleish said.
Kids Helpline has seen an increase of almost 50 per cent in demand for its phone, email and webchat services in April 2020 compared to April 2019, and a 40 per cent increase in demand compared to the month previous.
The helpline has seen the biggest increase in demand for their webchat service and says they have only been able to respond to 40 per cent of that demand.
Though finding it concerning, Mr Dalgleish says that figure will improve after the group received funding from state and federal governments.
"If there's a silver lining in this situation at the moment, it is that young people are seeking help, and we welcome that," he said.
Youth mental health service ReachOut has also seen an increase of 50 per cent in demand compared to the same period in 2019.
Visits to ReachOut's Urgent Help page increased by 14 per cent with a spike recorded during the recent school holiday period.
CEO of ReachOut, Ashley de Silva, says it's encouraging that so many people are engaging with support services.
Lifeline 13 11 14
beyondblue 1300 22 4636
1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732)
Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800
Australian Associated Press