Groundbreaking survey finds widespread concerns about children’s mental health during COVID-19 crisis
More than half of parents and carers are concerned about the impact coronavirus is having on their children’s mental health, a major survey has found.
The survey – carried out by leading mental health charity YoungMinds – found that 67 per cent of the 1,854 respondents were worried about the long-term mental health repercussions of COVID-19.
This rose to 77 per cent of parents and carers whose children accessed mental health support three months prior to COVID-19. Among those, 25 per cent said that their child was no longer able to access support, but still needed it.
One respondent said: “My son was having therapy prior to lockdown and was beginning to see positive improvements in his mental health. Since the lockdown he is regressing more and experiencing lower mood.”
Despite published government guidance on supporting children and young people’s wellbeing during the pandemic, respondents reported increased anxiety and depression, a sense of loss and fear, increased isolation and difficulties coping with a lack of structure and routine.
Meanwhile, 24 per cent of respondents said that they did not know where to turn for advice and information on supporting their child’s mental health during this time.
Emma Thomas, Chief Executive of YoungMinds, said: “Despite huge efforts from mental health professionals, young people with existing mental health needs often can’t get the same level of support as they had before the crisis.
“As our survey shows, many parents and carers are deeply worried about the long-term impact of the pandemic on the young people in their care, and don’t know where to turn for advice and support.”
YoungMinds conducted the survey as part of its Beyond Tomorrow campaign, which urges further government action to ensure that young people who need mental health advice can get it, and that there is increased support for families. It also calls for continued investment in mental health services as restrictions change.
For more information on the campaign, click here.