Citizens Commission on Human Rights

The Mental Health Watchdog

Australian National Office

Health Minister orders review after study links antidepressants and youth suicide

Dana McCauley, The Sydney Morning Herald, 14 June 2020

Health Minister Greg Hunt has asked his department to review the results of an academic study linking the increase in youth suicide with a rise in antidepressants being prescribed to Australian children.

The Curtin University study published in the peer-reviewed Frontiers of Psychiatry journal linked rising antidepressant use in children, adolescents and young adults (up 66 per cent) and youth suicide (up 49 per cent) in the decade to 2018, when 458 young Australians took their own lives.

Hayley, who asked for her last name not to be published, suffered nausea, headaches and suicidal thoughts when she tried to stop taking the antidepressant Arapax, which she had been prescribed from the age of 15 for obsessive-compulsive disorder.

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