In July, a study told us something we already knew: lockdown has had a detrimental impact on young people’s mental health. Now, another study is here to offer more good news: a quarter of young people are “unable to cope with life” during the pandemic.
As reported by The Guardian, the Prince’s Trust’s annual survey of young people’s happiness and confidence has returned the worst findings in its 12-year history. Half of 16 to 25-year-olds said their mental health had worsened since the start of the coronavirus crisis, with 56 per cent saying they always or often feel anxious. 68 per cent said they feel they are “missing out on being young”, and 38 per cent are dreading the year ahead.
“The pandemic has taken a devastating toll on young people’s mental health and wellbeing,” Jonathan Townsend, the trust’s UK chief executive, said in a statement. “Many believe they are missing out on being young, and sadly we know that the impact of the pandemic on their employment prospects and overall wellbeing could continue far into the future.”
As well as living through a global pandemic, young people are constantly battling historical political events, including Brexit, a mental US presidential election, and monumental Black Lives Matter protests. 66 per cent of young people surveyed said current and upcoming political events have made them feel anxious about their future, while 54 per cent said that the political and economic events of 2020 have made their mental health worse.
“At this critical time, we need businesses, government, and individuals to work with us to help as many vulnerable young people as possible,” continued Townsend. “It is only by working together that we can stop this generation of young people giving up on their futures – and themselves.”
In May, Dazed spoke to students who were set to graduate from university or school in 2020 about how they were coping with their mental health in lockdown – watch the video here.