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Psychologists Criticize Lack of Focus on Mental Health Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

The Australian Association of Psychologists believes that crisis support lines should have been more prominently displayed during snap lockdowns, highlighting the importance of mental health support during the COVID-19 pandemic. In their submission to the Australian Government COVID-19 Response Inquiry, the association emphasized the significant mental health impact of the pandemic, especially during lockdowns.

The AAPi expressed concerns that insufficient emphasis was placed on accessing mental health support during the pandemic. They recommended that public health messaging during lockdowns should include a focus on psychological support and the promotion of crisis support lines.

Additionally, the association suggested allowing individuals to refer themselves to psychologists during pandemics to ease the burden on GP clinics. They also highlighted the shortage of psychology professionals and proposed strategies to address this issue.

Furthermore, AAPi recommended that future COVID-19 responses consider the unique needs of different populations and address disparities in the psychology profession. They commended the Australian government for its efforts in addressing COVID-19 but noted areas for improvement, particularly in mental health support.

The COVID-19 inquiry, chaired by Robyn Kruk, along with panel members Professor Catherine Burnett and Angela Jackson, emphasized the importance of capturing lessons learned from the pandemic to better prepare for future crises.

On a separate note, the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia raised concerns about the lack of consideration given to medicines used in ICU beds during the pandemic. They highlighted the importance of ensuring access to critical medicines and suggested providing more support to hospitals in scaling operations during pandemic responses.

Lastly, the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education expressed concerns about the lasting impacts of COVID-19 on alcohol marketing. They noted an increase in digital marketing and delivery capacity by alcohol companies during the pandemic, targeting vulnerable populations.

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