The mental health toll on young people
A lack of motivation and fears for the future.
Those are just some of the mental health effects Wales’ young people say the coronavirus pandemic has had on them.
It comes as more than two thirds of young people have felt their mental health has worsened over the pandemic, exclusive research seen by ITV Wales shows.
ITV Wales, 12/07/2021
More than two thirds of young people have felt their mental health has worsened over the pandemic
Nearly 90% of people who said their mental health worsened in 2020 said it was feelings of loneliness which made their mental health worse.
Mind Cymru Charity director Susan O’Leary said more investment in mental health services will be needed to help young people “combat some of the negative impacts” experienced during the pandemic.
She said, “They will need support to recover from what’s been a traumatic experience over the period of the lockdown and the restrictions. Young people will need more investment in services and support that help to combat loneliness and combat some of the negative impacts that have been experienced over this period.”
Nearly three out of four young people say Covid has changed how they think about mental health, and it is thought children are speaking about their feelings more than ever before.
A separate survey of 1,000 children from 3 Sussex schools was recently carried out, and nearly half reported that they have been feeling anxious over the last 12 months and more than a quarter have felt increasingly lonely throughout the pandemic.
One in ten said they had been bullied over the past year, while more than one in five children have felt that their parents were too busy for them.
Over half admitted they have missed doing things with their family, while 28 per cent had heard their parents discussing money worries.
Starting the conversation
So it’s not all bad. If a recent study shows that children and young people are talking about mental health now more than ever before, then that’s a huge positive effect from the pandemic.
Education and encouragement are key here – to provide the safe space and support for difficult conversations. Sometimes, the conversation doesn’t even have to be too difficult; it may just be a healthy opportunity to talk about and normalise feelings and emotions.
But starting the conversation is the first step, and proven to be all it takes sometimes in helping anyone, young or old, feel listened to and valued.
If you would like to know more about our MHFA courses or to book onto our next available dates, simply click here
We currently offer the following MHFA courses for both online and face-to-face delivery:
- Adult MHFA (15 hr)
- Adult Mental Health Aware (half-day)
- Youth MHFA (15 hr)
- Youth Mental Health Aware (half-day)
For more information, please visit www.loftustraining.com
Matt is passionate about sharing knowledge with others and supporting those experiencing poor mental health. Alongside delivering MHFA courses, he currently volunteers as a crisis volunteer for Shout85258; helping others experiencing anxiety, depression and suicidal ideation.