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PRESS RELEASE : Improved promotion of mental health services needed to support young people during the pandemic

Reserach suggests that during Covid-19 young people have been feeling more anxious, depressed, and uncertain about their future than older generations. 

Healthwatch Camden surveyed 48 young people (under 24 years of age) in Camden to find out more about the impact of Covid-19 on this age group. The survery was conducted in the month of November in associaton with Kings Cross Brunswick Neighbourhood Associaton and Young Camden Foundation (YCF). 

Though much of the attention of the devastating impacts of Covid-19 has been on older people, these findings suggest that many young people have been struggling to cope during the pandemic.  

The majority (7 in 10) of young people said that Covid-19 is impacting their mental health and emotional wellbeing. The most common reported issues were increased stress, anxiety, depression and fear. 

 

“I am feeling more depressed. The winter months aren’t helping.”

“Triggered mental health issues again.”

“Feeling extremely depressed.”

 

Missing extracurricular activities and arguing more with family were also reported as consequences of Covid-19 for around half of those responding. One-third reported feeling bored.

With their entire lives ahead of them, this younger generation also appear to be worried about the impact the pandemic is having on their schooling, life events and their future. As one respondent observed:

 

“[I am] mainly concerned about graduation and [a] career.”

 

Others mentioned a loss of motivation, either in work or school.

The impact of personal job loss or the job loss of a parent or caregiver is also causing financial stress for whole families and was a major concern. Almost two-thirds of young people said they were worried about ‘my personal finances or my family’s personal finances’ and three in five were concerned about ‘my job security or my family member’s job security.’

 

“My dad lost his job and mum doesn’t work.”

 

One in three surveyed young people in Camden said they were struggling to find things to help them cope during this time.

Commenting on the findings, Matthew Parris, Director of Healthwatch Camden said:

“These findings highlight that many young people are having a more difficult time than some of us might imagine. We can and must do more to promote the services that are available for those young people who are finding it difficult to cope.”

 

Keith Morgan, YCF Chief Executive Officer” commented:

“One of YCF’s key objectives is to ensure that young people feel safe, listened to, and are thriving and achieving their full potential. So, we are pleased to have worked with Healthwatch Camden to hear how young people are coping with the pandemic and lockdowns.”

“The pandemic has had a huge impact on the lives of millions of people around the world. Young people in particular have and will continue to be most severely affected. These findings highlight how resilient and courageous young people have been during such a difficult time. We encourage statutory and community services to continue to listen to young people and include them in the shaping of local recovery plans.”

 

Support is available, from the NHS, for young people struggling to cope. It is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call 020 8869 2273.

In addition, other resources for mental health support for young people include: Kooth, Kings Cross Brunswick Neighbourhood Association, Fitzrovia Youth in Action, The Hive, Brandon Centre, the Camden Child and Young Person Mental Health Service, and Samuel Lithgow Youth Centre.

You can find a summary of the findings here: https://healthwatchcamden.co.uk/blog/2020/12/04/young-people-covid

 

ENDS

Notes to editors

  1. Healthwatch is the independent watchdog created to gather and represent the views of the public. Healthwatch plays a role at both national and local level to ensure that the views of people that use services are taken into account. It provides a collective voice for health and social care users in Camden.
  2. Healthwatch Camden has a seat on the Camden Health and Wellbeing Board and can alert Healthwatch England and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to concerns about services. Local Healthwatch functions and powers are set out in the Health and Social Care Act 2012.
  3. For more information contact: 07939 315580, email: matthew.parris@healthwatchcamden.co.uk