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Daniel Andrews and the Victorian government have been accused of ‘gross negligence’ amid claims they ignored court data that almost 10 per cent of suicides in 2020 were linked to Covid-19 lockdowns.

Shadow mental health minister Emma Kealy has slammed the Premier and his government for failing to act on the worrying data, which emerged as the state entered its fourth lockdown within 15 months in late May.

She has obtained a ministerial briefing note to mental health minister James Merlino under Freedom of Information laws which warned ‘Covid-related stressors’ were linked to a spike in Victorians taking their own lives.

The news comes after Mr Andrews hailed the state’s response to the pandemic as a ‘triumph’, despite forcing millions of Melburnians to endure the world’s longest lockdown.1

Almost 10 per cent of suicides in Victoria in 2020 were linked to Covid-19 lockdowns, according to Coronial Court data

Almost 10 per cent of suicides in Victoria in 2020 were linked to Covid-19 lockdowns, according to Coronial Court data

Almost 10 per cent of suicides in Victoria in 2020 were linked to Covid-19 lockdowns, according to Coronial Court data

The briefing note sent in June also cited Coroners Court data that almost 10 per cent of suicides during the first 12 months of the pandemic were linked to Covid ‘policy decisions’ and warned the state’s draconian lockdown had an adverse affect on people’s mental health, the Herald Sun reported. 

The minister was also warned two suicides linked to job ­losses occurred shortly after Melbourne was thrust into its fourth lockdown in May.

‘CCOV (Coroners Court of Victoria) has advised the department that there have been two suicides following the recent lockdown in the context of loss of employment,’ the document states.

Concerns were also raised about the spike in youths presenting to emergency departments due self-harm, in addition to a spike in eating disorders.

‘These revelations are a disturbing reflection of the gross negligence of a Premier and minister who knew the impact Labor’s Covid response was having on Victorian lives, but chose not to act,’ Ms Kealy told the publication.  

‘The Victorian families who lost loved ones in Daniel Andrews’ lockdowns or those who are still struggling to live with the mental health impacts today will be sickened by the Premier bragging that Labor’s Covid response is a ‘triumph’.’

Long suffering Melburnians endured six lockdowns within 18 months of the pandemic

Long suffering Melburnians endured six lockdowns within 18 months of the pandemic

Long suffering Melburnians endured six lockdowns within 18 months of the pandemic

Lifeline received a record number of calls twice in three days in August when Australia’s two biggest cities, including Melbourne were in lockdown. 

The suicide prevention charity received more than 3500 calls in a single day as it recorded six of its 10 busiest days in its 57 year history the same month.

Meanwhile, Mr Andrews insists his government’s response to the Covid pandemic was a ‘triumph’.

Speaking to left-wing radio podcast Socially Democratic last week, Mr Andrews said his political opponents and Victorian federal MPs should have been congratulating him for successfully keeping Covid at bay.

‘It’s a triumph in terms of what government in partnership with the community can do,’ Mr Andrews told podcast host Stephen Donnelly. 

Melbourne spent a world record total 262 days across six lockdowns confined to their homes before restrictions were eased in October.

If you or someone you know needs support, call Lifeline 13 11 14 beyondblue 1300 22 4636.

Shadow mental health minister Emma Kealy (pictured) has accused Daniel Andrews and the Victorian government of 'gross negligence' after ministerial briefing note warned of a spike in suicide due to Covid lockdowns

Shadow mental health minister Emma Kealy (pictured) has accused Daniel Andrews and the Victorian government of 'gross negligence' after ministerial briefing note warned of a spike in suicide due to Covid lockdowns

Shadow mental health minister Emma Kealy (pictured) has accused Daniel Andrews and the Victorian government of ‘gross negligence’ after ministerial briefing note warned of a spike in suicide due to Covid lockdowns

Source: Daily Mail UK

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