Youth and COVID-19

By Lauren Johnson

Have you ever felt scared and hopeful at the same time? So many young people around the country have said they feel the same with regards to COVID-19, the impact it has had and will have on their lives in the future.

The pandemic has had a devastating impact on many of the young people across the country. Several young people who are connected with Energize through both schools work, and youth groups have said things such as ‘I feel good about the vaccine, but I don’t feel that good about being around so many people again’ and ‘I’m so stressed because I’m going to be behind on school work for so long.’ To expand, some have also told us that they are incredibly anxious, have started self-harming again, are having frequent panic attacks, or are losing motivation and hope for the future. We know that some young people will be dealing with multiple pressures, especially those who have been bereaved or experienced other trauma over the past year.

Young Minds, a national youth work charity, have conducted several studies with young people, throughout the pandemic. In January 2021, they carried out a survey with 2,438 young people aged 13-25. The survey found that 67% of respondents believed that the pandemic will have a long-term negative effect on their wellbeing and mental health. According to the survey, the leading negative impacts on the life of young people was loneliness and isolation; and the second being concerns about academic work and future prospects.

Although the pandemic has had devastating effects on young people’s lives, we believe that the challenges of this year will encourage them to grow into resilient, and adaptable young men and women. An example of this is how children and young people across Lincoln and the rest of the nation have discovered new pathways of creativity and innovation to engage with their families and peers.

As we are eased out of lockdown, let’s be people who love and encourage every young person we have contact with. Together, with patience and perseverance, we can overcome what has been an incredibly difficult year.

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