There is no doubt that COVID 19 has had a detrimental impact on our mental wellbeing. The fear of catching and spreading the virus, paired with the reduced opportunity to do the things that allow us to take care of our mental health (such as a maintaining routines and ensuring regular social contact) has understandably left many of us feeling increasingly stressed and anxious, particularly when it comes to the future. All ages have been affected by the pandemic differently, but our focus as a charity is on young people. Therefore, it is crucial we acknowledge the impact that the pandemic has had on their wellbeing specifically so that we are able to better support them to meet their goals.
A survey by Young Minds has highlighted some of the issues that young people are facing as a result of the pandemic
67% of respondents who were parents/carers were concerned about the long-term impact of coronavirus on their child’s mental health
83% of young people surveyed said that the crisis had made their mental health worse
74% of school staff asked felt that schools being closed to most students over lockdown would have a negative impact on the mental health of young people
31% of young people who were accessing mental health support prior to the crisis are no longer receiving it
This has massive implications for schools, who must now try to provide wellbeing support to an increasing number of students who are in need. The Government have promised to provide new wellbeing resources for schools which is a step in the right direction. They have also announced that Ofsted inspections will be suspended for the Autumn term, which will hopefully reduce unnecessary pressures on schools, allowing them to focus their efforts into supporting students.
The pandemic has had an impact on people from all backgrounds. Young people have had to adapt to studying from home, uncertainty around exams and the gradual transition into the next stage of education (whether that’s to secondary school, college or university). However, the pandemic has undoubtably highlighted and exaggerated already existing inequalities, hitting disadvantaged communities much harder (such as BME and low socio-economic). The closure of schools has placed additional strain on families who rely on the financial and social support that schools provide. As an organisation that strives to combat educational inequality, we must acknowledge what this means for those we support. Students from these backgrounds will not have had the same resources and opportunities as their peers, which would have for several reasons inhibited their ability to continue their studies at home. Therefore, as a charity we must begin to consider how we will aid the schools that we are partnered with to support these vulnerable students upon our return to tutoring.
If you are a young person struggling, a concerned parent or just looking for further information regarding the impact of COVID 19 on young people’s mental health then please go to:
Students4Students Welfare officer