The Separation Guide – an online provider of education and services for those considering or going through marriage separation – reported an 81 per cent increase in Australians seeking psychological support since the nation was sent into COVID-19 shutdown in March last year.
They also cited a 90 per cent increase in requests for legal advice.
The survey conducted by The Separation Guide also found there was a 48 per cent increase in requests for financial advice and a 78 per cent increase in people seeking access to violence prevention services.
A couple sit at Mrs Macquarie’s Chair at sunset during Sydney’s COVID-19 lockdown. Picture: Getty Images
The available data, which looks to the 2020 COVID-19 shutdowns, also found a 42 per cent increase in people seeking marriage counselling, a 41 per cent increase in requests for accounting services and a 55 per cent increase in requests for support to finance their separation.
The Separation Guide has seen 75,000 users across Australia through the course of the pandemic.
While the data looks to 2020, it is likely comparable to the current coronavirus situation currently engulfing Australia’s two biggest states – New South Wales and Victoria.
Angela Harbinson, CEO and Co-Founder of The Separation Guide, said there is now a worrying trend emerging amid the latest lockdowns following an outbreak of the highly contagious Delta strain.
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“People are reporting the burden of homeschooling, on-going pressures of working from home, communication breakdowns and the immense financial pressures that are associated with the pandemic,” she said.
“And our message is the same: make sure you get the support you need to make the best decisions you can in your own unique circumstances.”
Co-Founder, Mediator and Barrister Jack Whelan said the figures “paint a picture of Australian families under duress”.
“It’s a very tough time for families. It’s forcing a lot of people to make some very big life decisions,” he said.
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“What is most important is that they make fully informed decisions.
“The most worrying statistic is the 78 per cent increase in people seeking access to violence prevention services, making access to discrete and effective support even more important.”
Greater Sydney’s lockdown – which began on June 26 – has been extended until the end of September, while regional NSW will remain subject to stay-at-home orders until at least September 10.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has indicated Victoria’s shutdown will be lengthened beyond its end date of September 2.
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