The impact of Covid-19 on mental health as told by young people
Following many reports from national organisations about the impact of Covid-19 on young people No5 wanted to give our Young Ambassadors the opportunity to share their experiences of the pandemic and how the lockdown impacted their lives, relationships and their mental health.
Carly Newman, Operations & Relationships Manager at No5, who worked with the Young Ambassadors said: “I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside our fantastic Young Ambassadors developing and creating content to help support other young people through the challenging times presented by the pandemic. In the last month we have reflected on the immediate and future impact Covid-19 has had on them. Our report is their voice and I’ve found it humbling to hear what they say, I hope you do too.”
Alyson Brickley, Director, No 5 Young People, said: “Thank you to our amazing Young Ambassadors for giving their time and sharing their personal stories with us. I would like to recognise the support of the Berkshire Community Foundation and The Blagrave Trust which has meant we have been able to provide some essential support to the young people of Reading while our doors have been closed during the lockdown. We are now offering counselling via Zoom and have opened our doors for pre-booked appointments with social distancing and safety measures in place.”
In the report, you’ll find a useful summary of key findings and themes covering the No5 Young Ambassadors experiences of the impact of Covid-19 on them, their relationships with family and friends. They consider the role of social media and the immediate and long-term effect on their education, careers and wellbeing.
Here are just a few insights
Abbie, our Lead Young Ambassador, tells us the family challenges she faced: “Before lockdown, we made the decision to stay at my mum’s house until further notice as my dad was working in a high-risk area and wanted to keep us safe. Due to being over 18, it meant I was not allowed to see him unlike those under the age of 18. This was also a big challenge for me as I went from seeing him every other day to not knowing when I was going to see him again.”
“You’ve just got to take it one day at a time.” Great advice from Angie. Find out more about her lows and positives from lockdown in the report.
Hannah talks about her experience during lockdown, from an OCD point of view: “I began working in care because the vast research I had completed drew attention to the ever-increasing death rates in care homes as a result of the virus. This took me away from my overwhelming anxiety and guilt as I felt as though I was doing everything I could to help. It also took away from the loneliness and gave me a sense of purpose again.”
Sanjana spent more time on social media and says it created a “False feeling of remaining connected with our wider community.”
“I had a particularly rough time trying to finish my dissertation in lockdown – it felt like I had this massive and impossible task and I was on my own.” says Elii, who has just graduated.
The report is free to download here and you can read the personal stories from each Young Ambassador who took part.
For young people feeling worried or anxious talk to a trained counsellor via No5 Young People’s Helpline. Text TALK followed by your first name and postcode to 07786 202430 to request a phone call.