New research launched from Clearview Research of over 1,000 young people aged 16-25 years old across England has provided further insight into the impact of COVID19 on their lives. The study highlighted that 35% of young people living in London have experienced mental health issues due to this year’s pandemic which is significantly lower than young people in Yorkshire and Humber (55%) and East Midlands (53%).

Commissioned by The Blagrave Trust, co-produced with Leaders Unlocked, and led by a group of young researchers, the report identified the main challenges that have hit most young, which include having studied from home (41%), experienced mental health issues (35%), having missed exams (27%) and worked from home (27%). Research shows that one of the greatest concerns for young people is getting any job in this current climate so that they can gain work experience and earn enough to cover their basic needs.

With figures showing 35% of young people have experienced mental health issues as a result of the impact of COVID19, we see numbers significantly increase among young people who have experienced sexual discrimination, either due to gender, or sexual orientation, with figures at 54% and 70% respectively. Moreover, young women are 1.5 times more likely to have experienced mental health issues due to COVID19 (43%) compared to men (28%) and young people who identify as disabled are almost three times more likely to have mental health issues due to COVID19 (73%). Regionally, the study revealed a large disparity with young people living in Yorkshire, Humber and East Midlands, as results show that they are more likely to experience mental health issues due to COVID19 at more than 50% compared to England’s 35% average.

Whilst the statistics coming out of London are slightly more positive than the rest of the country, it is still worrying to see over a third of young people in the city suffering from mental health issues due to the impact of this years pandemic.

Young people across the country are calling for an early intervention strategy addressing mental health, to help those who have entered the work sector during these times, and the generations to come

“We cannot be sure how long this new way of life will last and the best we can do is to be prepared.If we are genuinely going to improve the future prospects for young people during and after the COVID19 crisis we need to start by working with young people directly to empower them to give voice to their experiences and aspirations. Mental health evaluation and support from a young age alongside better mental health support in the workplace are amongst some of the recommendations we saw our young people suggest and we hope to see these begin to take place in the coming new year.” says Dr. Niamh McGarry, Research Director, ClearView Research.

“They’re going to have to focus on mental health/ mental health support for a while because a lot of people are going to be demotivated coming out of lockdown.” Revealed one participant of the study, “Quite a few people have found that they feel like when they’re not working, they’re sort of wasting away inside. That makes it hard to go back to what you were doing beforehand, whether it was university, or work, or your hobbies again.”

The study is calling for family, schools and mental health professionals to work together to maintain strong mental resilience in the young leaders of tomorrow.

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