So read the title of a recent article in the Guardian. This was one of two recent newspaper articles that have highlighted the impact the current pandemic might have on the mental health of children and young people. Firstly, for many people the long winter months can be difficult in terms of keeping mentally well, this is especially pertinent in the present time. Evidence from the Centre for Mental Health indicates that 10 million people, almost a fifth of the UK population, will need mental health support with 1.5 million of those expected to be children and young people under 18.
The second article focuses specifically on students and the difficulty they face being locked down whilst away at university at a time when they were expecting to socialize and make new friends. The charity Nightline, run by student volunteers, has reported a higher than normal demand for their services, as students have been locked down in their accommodation.
The University of Glasgow (with whom Jonathan’s Voice is working in partnership regarding research into male suicide behaviour) is conducting research into the immediate and medium term impact of the Covid 19 pandemic on the mental wellbeing of people in the UK. This will examine indicators such as anxiety depression, and self-harm. Looking to the future it will also be exploring where and how participants get social, emotional support. This may help us to better understand how to support people who maybe struggling.
It is evident that maintaining mental wellbeing is never more important, nor more difficult than now, and we all need to take care of ourselves and others. If you or those you know feel the need for help, do visit our website “Support” page.