04 May

‘Young people’s mental health affected by COVID-19 and lockdown’

Many young people are dealing with feelings of fear, anxiety and grief during COVID-19, according to a study released today by Youthline.

The survey which compared attitudes towards COVID-19 during the Lockdown period among Kiwis of different ages, found people under 25 were more likely than those older than 25 years to say Lockdown has had a negative impact on their life.

Overall young people were more likely than older adults to report that their need for social connections and emotional support were not being met during lockdown.

Key results include:

– More than 72% of all respondents agreed that COVID-19 and Lockdown has had an impact on their mental health, with people under 25 more likely to agree with this than older groups.

– 24% of young people who responded named mental health issues, (feeling anxious, depressed and coping poorly) as the main drivers of negative impacts during Lockdown. Some are simultaneously feeling isolated or living in toxic environments. When asked about the negative effects of lockdown, the greatest difference experienced between young people and those over 25 years was ‘craving normality and fearing the future’ (36% compared to 22%).

– This was followed by ‘missing face to face contact’ (46% compared to 32%). These negative effects were felt more keenly by young people aged 12-18, than those 19-24.

When asked about positive impacts of Lockdown on their life, respondents named important protective factors, like connecting with people and self-care activities.

The survey comes as Youthline experiences a 50% increase in the number of texts from young people contacting its Helpline for support. The most common being about suicide, depression, anxiety, self-harm.

Read more of the article here