Urgent support needed for young people’s emotional wellbeing as lockdown eases

8th April 2021

New research from No Limits shows that 1 in 10 children felt they had nowhere to go for support with their emotional wellbeing during the pandemic, and 25% were unable to talk to family or friends. While some found life easier when the first lockdown ended, others found the return to school and the ‘new normal’ even more difficult to cope with. The Southampton charity is calling for urgent support for young people as they emerge from lockdown yet again.

The new report – The Impact of Coronavirus on Children and Young People’s Mental Health – The New Normal (April 2021) is based on answers from 522 children and young people aged 8-25. It shows that two thirds of young people are worried about their emotional wellbeing or the mental health of someone they love, and the same proportion are concerned about their long-term future. Many have experienced high levels of anxiety about the virus itself and a high proportion of young people have fears about not being able to deal with their problems.

When asked whether the pandemic had had a negative impact on their lives and future life chances, a young person responded “Covid-19 has ruined my mental health and not only that, but it has pulled my relationships apart. I not only have barely any trust, but I am finding it hard to look at myself in the mirror.”

Alice Mooney, Service Manager at No Limits, said “We’re seeing a significant increase in young people’s need for support with their emotional wellbeing. Our work in the Emergency Department at the University Hospital Southampton shows that young people are being admitted for self-harm and suicide attempts on a daily rather than weekly basis and at a much younger age. This increased need is being experienced across all our services. We must ensure that every child feels they have somewhere to turn when life feels bleak for them.”

The report makes several recommendations, including:

  • More support being made available for emotional wellbeing and support, particularly through schools, as we emerge from the current lockdown
  • Creating opportunities for young people to re-connect in supportive environments
  • More targeted messaging for children and young people around Covid-19, especially as guidance becomes more nuanced.

No Limits is here to support children and young people that are going through difficult times in their life, for whatever reason. Young people can access support from one of our trained Youth Workers without an appointment, by calling 02380 224224, emailing enquiries@nolimitshelp.org.uk or using our webchat at www.nolimitshelp.org.uk.”

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