Young people need more support during lockdown

New research has revealed that many indicators of poor mental health and well-being are amplified in young people during lockdown.

Although young people tend to be less vulnerable to the effects of coronavirus, the findings indicate that they are more likely to experience poor mental health and well-being under lockdown than older adults.

In fact, 58 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds disagreed that the government is doing enough to protect the public’s mental health and well-being; 70 per cent of the same age range have felt anxious about the future more often than normal (compared with 47 per cent of over 75s); 38 per cent have had good quality sleep less often (compared with 15 per cent of over 75s); and 16 per cent of 18 to 24 year olds have been unable to isolate as much as they would like because of financial concerns (compared with 11 per cent of 55 to 64 year olds).

Furthermore, 18 to 24 year olds were nearly three times more likely than 65 to 74 year olds to have experienced feeling of loneliness more often than normal (62 per cent compared with 21 per cent).

The Royal Society for Public Health is calling for wider mental health support for young people who may have been and may continue to be adversely affected, including for more mental health provision and support services for young people to help them cope with the effects of the lockdown and the pandemic.

Shirley Cramer, chief executive of RSPH, said: “Life under lockdown has been a challenge for all of us, but we are very concerned to see that young people are most vulnerable to experiencing adverse effects on their mental health and wellbeing. Moving from adolescence into young adulthood can be a difficult time for some, and the coronavirus pandemic adds another dimension of stress. We need more support tailored to young people who are struggling in this unique situation if we want to avoid further disadvantaging young people by allowing a mental health crisis to develop as a consequence of lockdown.”