Although we are hopefully going through the transition of completely eradicating all lockdown measures at the moment, as a nation we have all felt its effects in one way or another.
It is important to try to understand how the process has been as a child or young person, particularly regarding their mental health and well-being. Further to this we must consider how to bes support this demographic whilst we strive towards the return of normal (or ‘new-normal’) life.
See below just some of the effects caused by lockdown in children & young people:
Loneliness Studies show that there is a potential for an increase of loneliness in this demographic as a result of national lockdowns. Usually feelings of loneliness involve social comparison, this would suggest that due to the lockdowns being a nationally shared experience this would mitigate these feelings of loneliness, however emerging evidence shows that 50% of 16-24 year olds have experienced lockdown-loneliness.
Worries about School Emerging studies are showing that children and young people’s mental health will be effected by:
Concerns about their own education
Worries about missing school
The transition back to school
Concerns about future career prospects
Uncertainty about their general future
Peer Support It has become more common during the pandemic for children as well as parents to keep in regular contact with family & friends via video-chat and (when allowed) regular exercise. This has not been the case for the younger children, with parents voicing their concerns about their children’s lack of communication with their peers.
Further to the direct effects caused by lockdown to children & young people are the indirect effects, such as how the lockdown has affected those within their household and these feelings which can be passed onto this demographic.
For instance a child’s parents of carer could have gone through their own trauma. A study has shown that 25% of isolated or quarantined parents meet the criteria of PTSD and the links between the adults and their children showing PTSD symptoms.
Not just this, there are factors such as financial security, home life and the future which many parents have found themselves faced with during lockdown. A study into this reported that relationship difficulties and conflict in the family home have become problematic for children and young people during the pandemic.