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How is the COVID-19 pandemic impacting young people's mental health?

Read our view on how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting on young people and their mental health - and what we think the Government can do to help.

The Covid-19 pandemic is the biggest health crisis for generations, and the measures that the Government has taken to limit the spread of the virus, including restrictions on movement and the closure of schools to most students, are necessary to save lives.  

However, the crisis is affecting many young people in ways that will risk long-term consequences for their mental health. Before the pandemic, it was estimated that one in eight children and young people had a diagnosable mental health condition. Research suggests that for many young people, the pandemic is making their mental health worse. 

 

83% of young people said the coronavirus pandemic has made their mental health worse
YoungMinds survey, March 2020

Our view

The Women and Equalities Select Committee recently launched an inquiry looking at the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on people with protected characteristics. This includes young people with mental health conditions. We told them:

  1. The COVID-19 pandemic is having a negative impact on young people’s mental health and their access to support. 
  2. Schools also play an important role in supporting young people with their mental health. The Government must help schools and professionals to support young people with their mental health during and after the pandemic. 
  3. The COVID-19 crisis is likely to have a long-lasting impact on young people’s mental health and the services that support them. The Government must consider this throughout its emergency response and policies to recover from the crisis.
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