Health, mental health and well being: resources
The continuing impact of COVID-19 on health and inequalities
The Health Foundation (August 2022)
The Health Foundation revisits the conclusions of COVID-19 impact inquiry to consider the further direct impact of COVID-19 on health outcomes and the broader implications for health and the wider determinants. They also discuss the extent to which previously highlighted risks to health have been addressed and the implications for the country of ‘living with COVID-19’.
Report on the impact of COVID-19 closures of educational, cultural, youth and sports activities on children and young people in the EU (2022/2004(INI))
European Parliament - Committee on Culture and Education
This report seeks to put forward concrete proposals and recommendations to deal with the effects of Covid-19 related closures of educational, cultural, youth, and sports facilities on children and young people in the EU. The Rapporteur presents possible actions across seven thematic strands, including adequate funding and the promotion of opportunities offered by programs such as Erasmus+, Creative Europe and the European Solidarity Corps; to provide sufficient financial support to mainstream education institutions to ensure the support of pedagogical and psychological development of learners; to apply a holistic understanding of health that aims for complete physical, mental and social well-being and to this end recognises the need for comprehensive, preventive, and healing strategies including cultural and sporting activities and promoting the development of creative and social abilities, etc.
The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the mental health of young people
European Commission (October 2022)
Comparative report: This report takes stock of the deterioration of youth mental health caused by isolation and suspension in-person activities during the COVID-19 pandemic, and illustrates the policy measures that have been put in place by Member States to mitigate the impact of lockdowns. The analysis offers a comparative overview of the approaches followed by countries to support young people’s resilience and wellbeing in a variety of fields – from education to sport, from youth work to leisure. The comparative analysis is accompanied by a selection of good practices from countries. The report is based on information on national policies and initiatives implemented in 2020 and 2021, collected by the Youth Wiki’s National Correspondents in March 2022.
Fifth round of the Living, working and COVID-19 e-survey: Living in a new era of uncertainty (vol 5, July 2022)
Eurofound, Author(s): Ahrendt, Daphne; Consolini, Michele; Mascherini, Massimiliano; Sándor, Eszter
The fifth round of Eurofound's e-survey, fielded from 25 March to 2 May 2022, sheds light on the social and economic situation of people across Europe two years after COVID-19 was first detected on the European continent. It also explores the reality of living in a new era of uncertainty caused by the war in Ukraine, inflation, and rising energy prices.
The findings of the e-survey reveal the heavy toll of the pandemic, with respondents reporting lower trust in institutions than at the start of the pandemic, poorer mental well-being, a rise in the level of unmet healthcare needs and an increase in the number of households experiencing energy poverty.
The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the mental health of young people
European Commission, Youth Wiki Comparative report (October 2022)
The COVID-19 pandemic has represented a serious threat to mental health, in particular among young people. The shift from face-to-face to online learning, the restrictions to leisure and sport activities and the partial or complete interruption of social participation have heavily disrupted interpersonal relations. Coupled with longer time spent online and on social media, many young people have experienced feeling of isolation and loneliness, suffered from anxiety and reported depressive symptoms.
This report takes stock of the deterioration of youth mental health caused by isolation and suspension in-person activities during the COVID-19 pandemic, and illustrates the policy measures that have been put in place by Member States to mitigate the impact of lockdowns. The analysis offers a comparative overview of the approaches followed by countries to support young people’s resilience and wellbeing in a variety of fields – from education to sport, from youth work to leisure. The comparative analysis is accompanied by a selection of good practices from countries. The report is based on information on national policies and initiatives implemented in 2020 and 2021, collected by the Youth Wiki’s National Correspondents in March 2022.
Empowering Europe's youth to thrive in a post-pandemic world
European Commission , Jan 2022 monthly focus
Policy Responses to Coronavirus (COVID-19), Delivering for youth: How governments can put young people at the centre of the recovery
Governments across the OECD are investing significant resources to address the immediate and long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Given that the crisis has affected different age groups differently and that its repercussions will be felt by many for decades to come, it is crucial to adopt an integrated public governance approach to COVID-19 response and recovery efforts. This policy brief presents the views of a non-representative sample of 151 youth organisations from 72 countries, including 100 youth organisations based in 36 OECD countries, on how young people have been experiencing the crisis and related government action. It is complemented by an analysis of the measures adopted across 34 OECD countries and provides recommendations on how to deliver a fair, inclusive and resilient recovery for young people through a range of public governance approaches.
Impact of COVID-19 on young people in the EU, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg (vol 4, Nov 2021)
This report provides a comprehensive picture of the impact of the pandemic on young people in the European Union (EU), including a description of their situation in the labour market before the pandemic and shortly after. It presents an overview of the efforts of governments and EU-level policymakers to protect young people from the effects of the crisis and analyses the impact of the pandemic on this group in terms of job loss, living conditions and mental well-being.
The State of the World's Children 2021 On My Mind: Promoting, protecting and caring for children’s mental health
UNICEF, Flagship report 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic has raised concerns about the mental health of a generation of children. But the pandemic may represent the tip of a mental health iceberg – an iceberg we have ignored for far too long. The State of the World’s Children 2021 examines child, adolescent and caregiver mental health. It focuses on risks and protective factors at critical moments in the life course and delves into the social determinants that shape mental health and well-being. It calls for commitment, communication and action as part of a comprehensive approach to promote good mental health for every child, protect vulnerable children and care for children facing the greatest challenges.
LIFE IN LOCKDOWN: Child and adolescent mental health and well-being in the time of COVID-19
UNICEF Innocenti Research Report 2021
COVID-19 lockdowns have significantly disrupted the daily lives of children and adolescents, with increased time at home, online learning and limited physical social interaction. This report seeks to understand the immediate effects on their mental health. Covering more than 130,000 children and adolescents across 22 countries, the evidence shows increased stress, anxiety and depressive symptoms, as well as increased alcohol and substance use, and externalizing behavioural problems.
Children and adolescents also reported positive coping strategies, resilience, social connectedness through digital media, more family time, and relief from academic stress. Factors such as demographics, relationships and pre-existing conditions are critical.
To ensure children and adolescents are supported, the report recommends building the evidence on the longer-term impact of the pandemic on child and adolescent mental health in low- and middle-income countries, including vulnerable populations.
Supporting young people’s mental health through the COVID-19 crisis
OECD Policy Responses to COVID-19 2021
The mental health of young people has been significantly impacted by the COVID‑19 crisis. Prevalence of symptoms of anxiety and depression has risen dramatically among young people and remains higher than pre‑crisis levels even with the partial re‑opening of the economy, and compared to other age groups, even as economies partially re-open. The worsening of mental health can be attributed to disruptions to access to mental health services, the wide‑ranging impacts of school closures, and a labour market crisis that is disproportionately affecting young people. With adequate support and timely intervention, young people experiencing mental distress may be able to bounce back as we recover from the COVID‑19 crisis. This will require a scaling up of existing mental health support in education systems, workplaces and health systems, and comprehensive policies to support young people to remain in education, or to find and keep a job.
What have countries done tosupport young people in the COVID-19 crisis?
The policy brief provides an overview of the measures that countries have put in place to avoid a long-lasting negative impact on the employment prospects and aspirations of young people.
SHEryica - Good Practice Booklet 2020
ERYICA - European Youth Information and Counselling Agency
This document offers best practices and success stories on youth information actions that were carried out during the pandemic in the following areas: Digital Youth Information Work, Youth Information outreach to disadvantaged groups, Media and Information Literacy, Peer-to-peer in youth information, and Additional Good Practices in the Youth Information Field.
Beyond lockdown - the ‘pandemic scar’ on young people The social, economic and mental health impact of COVID-19 on young people in Europe
European Youth Forum, 2021
This research outlined in this report aimed to analyse and identify the youth-specific medium and long-term impacts of COVID-19 in Europe and to identify promising practices as well as gaps in the response of institutions and national governments. These findings highlight the deep social, economic, but also mental health challenges and barriers young people are facing as a result of the current crisis. Looking at the progression of the situation of young people since the beginning of the pandemic, it demonstrated the need for a youth-inclusive recovery and further policy measures to address the long-term consequences of the pandemic on young people’s education, work and mental health. This is the only way to ensure that the ‘pandemic scar’ is not one that young people carry for the rest of their lives.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of children and young people in London
London Assembly Health Committee (March 2021)
This report explores the impact of the pandemic on the mental health of children and young people in London. A growing body of research, and the results of the Assembly’s own survey of young Londoners, paint a worrying picture of a decline in mental health and wellbeing across the capital. We explore how certain groups have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, with a focus on young carers, children and young people from low-income households and disabled children and young people. This compounds a reported rise in mental and emotional distress by children and young people in recent years alongside a rise in demand for counselling services, hospital admissions for self-harm and referrals to specialist Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).
Effects of home confinement on mental health and lifestyle behaviours during the COVID-19 outbreak: insights from the ECLB-COVID19 multicentre study
Institute for Sports Science Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Germany (Ammar A, Trabelsi K, Brach M et al. Biol Sport. 2021; 38(1):9–21)
Although recognised as effective measures to curb the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak, social distancing and self-isolation have been suggested to generate a burden throughout the population. The preliminary results of the survey reveal a considerable burden for mental wellbeing combined with a tendency towards an unhealthy lifestyle during, compared to before, the confinement enforced by the COVID-19 pandemic. Particularly, social and physical inactivity, an unhealthy diet and poor sleep quality, triggered by the enforced home confinement, were associated with lower mental and emotional well being (i.e., depressive and dissatisfied feelings). These multidimensional negative effects highlight the importance for stakeholders and policy makers to consider developing, implementing and publicising interdisciplinary interventions to mitigate the physical and psycho-social strain evoked in case of such pandemics. Promoting wellbeing by encouraging individuals to engage in indoor and/or outdoor physical activity, whilst conforming with distancing and hygiene recommendations, can be suggested as a preliminary measure with potential for physical and mental benefits. Moreover, since participants have demonstrated a higher acceptance of the use of technological solutions during the confinement period, fostering an Active and Healthy Confinement Lifestyle (AHCL) via an ICT-based approach can be considered.
Exploring the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Youth Sport and Physical Activity Participation Trends
The COVID-19 pandemic offers youth sport organizations the opportunity to anticipate consumer behaviour trends and proactively improve their program offerings for more satisfying experiences for consumers post-pandemic. This conceptual paper explores potential impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on changing youth sport and physical activity preferences and trends to inform sport and physical activity providers. Drawing from social ecology theory, assumptions for future trends for youth sport and physical activity are presented. Three trends for youth sport and physical activity as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic are predicted: (1) youths’ preferences from organized to non-organized contexts become amplified; (2) reasons for participating in sport or any physical activity shift for youth as well as parents/guardians; (3) consumers reconceptualize value expectations from youth sport and physical activity organizations. The proposed assumptions need to be tested in future research. It is anticipated that sport organizations can respond to changing trends and preferences by innovating in three areas: (1) programming, (2) marketing, and (3) resource management.
The COVID-19 epidemic in Poland and its influence on the quality of life of university students (young adults) in the context of restricted access to public spaces
Journal of Public Health
The results revealed a strong correlation between the severity of lockdown measures during the epidemic and the students’ activity levels in public spaces, a considerable deterioration in their physical and psychological well-being, and the overall quality of life.
Inside Out. Young People's Health and Wellbeing. A Response to COVID-19
National Youth Agency - NYA (UK)
This paper builds on the insights from the ‘Out of Sight?’ research report, on the known and emerging needs of young people through COVID-19. The paper explores. he impact of the pandemic on young people’s health and the role of young people’s services in support of vulnerable young people, in particular.
Coronavirus: Impact on young people with mental health needs
This report outlines the results of the second survey carried out with young people with a history of mental health needs during the coronavirus pandemic. The first survey was conducted with 2,111 young people with a history of mental health needs in March 20201.
Living, working and COVID-19 (Update April 2021): Mental health and trust decline across EU as pandemic enters another year
Eurofound (Authors: Ahrendt, Daphne; Mascherini, Massimiliano; Nivakoski, Sanna; Sándor, Eszter)
The third round of Eurofound's e-survey, fielded in February and March 2021, sheds light on the social and economic situation of people across Europe following nearly a full year of living with COVID-19 restrictions. This report analyses the main findings and tracks ongoing developments and trends across the 27 EU Member States since the survey was first launched in April 2020. It pinpoints issues that have surfaced over the course of the pandemic, such as increased job insecurity due to the threat of job loss, decline in mental well-being levels, erosion of recent gains in gender equality, fall in trust levels vis-à-vis institutions, deterioration of work–life balance and growth of vaccine hesitancy. The results of the survey highlight the need for a holistic approach to support all the groups hit hard by the crisis in order to prevent them from falling further behind.
Living conditions and quality of life: Education, healthcare and housing: How access changed for children and families in 2020, policy brief
Eurofound (Author: Molinuevo, Daniel)
Service provision has been complicated by the COVID-19 outbreak, and the pandemic has put families under psychological and financial pressure. This policy brief presents evidence on some of the changes that children and their families have experienced during the pandemic in access to education and healthcare, in caring responsibilities, in mental health and in housing security. Whilst a lot of research has been done on these concerns, the situation has changed dramatically with COVID-19. The policy brief offers some policy pointers on how to improve the accessibility of services in the framework of the Child Guarantee, taking into account the changes and developments brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.
How’s Life? 2020: Measuring Well-being
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
How’s Life? charts whether life is getting better for people in 37 OECD countries and 4 partner countries. This edition presents the latest evidence from an updated set of over 80 indicators, covering current well-being outcomes, inequalities, and resources for future well-being.
Youth and COVID-19: Response, Recovery and Resilience (2020)
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
This policy brief is based on the findings of an OECD survey with 90 youth organisations from 48 countries. The findings from the OECD survey confirm significant psychological impacts of social distancing and quarantine measures on young people causing stress, anxiety and loneliness.
UNESCO COVID-19 Education Response, Education Sector Issue Notes
United Nation Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
This UNESCO Education Sector issue note covers the topic of health and nutrition during home learning. It addresses issues such as health information, access to food and nutrition, physical inactivity, stress, anxiety and mental health issues, time spent online, new and disrupted roles and responsibilities for children and young people and other health and protection issues.
How's Your Head? Young Voices During Covid-19: A national consultation with young people on mental health and well-being
Department of Children and Youth Affairs (Ireland)
This national consultion report details the finding a representative survey of 2,173 young peope aged 15-24 in Ireland on the impact of Covid-19 on their mental health and well-being. It explores the difficulties experienced by young people during Covid-19 as well as the positives from the Covid-19 crisis that young people wish to carry forward into the future.
LGBTI+ Lives in Lockdown Survey
BeLonG To Youth Services (Ireland)
The national study was completed by 294 young LGBTI+ young people aged 14-23 years in Ireland. The survey found that Covid-19 has had serious implications for the mental health of LGBTI+ young people in Ireland. For example, 93% of LGBTI+ young people are struggling with anxiety, stress or depression during COVID-19.
Does COVID-19 Affect the Health of Children and Young People More Than We Thought?
UNICEF Office of Research Innocenti Innocenti Research Brief (2020-17)
The case for disaggregated data to inform action.
The Co-SPACE Study
Emerging Minds Network
The Co-SPACE project is tracking children and young people aged 4-16 years and their families to see how they are coping with the challenges of COVID-19. The data collected covers the UK, Ireland, Iran, Denmark and the US and looks at what kinds of information and supports young people need.
How to find meaning in it: Practical tips for young people during confinement
Catalan Youth Agency (Spain)
This youth-friendly guide collects thoughts and tips about how young people may feel during this period and how to deal with it. Also, it gives some ideas on how to make the confinement easier and how to keep good mental health.
The Gender Gap in Mental Well-Being During the Covid-19 Outbreak: Evidence from the UK
University of Essex
This academic article explores early evidence on how the disruption of Covid-19 has negatively and substantially affected mental well-being and how the effects on well-being have been felt unequally by women.
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and Mental Health for Children and Adolescents
The COVID-19 pandemic poses a threat to adolescents’ mental health, by worsening existing problems and curtailing access to school-based mental health services. In this academic article, the authors advocate for timely action to improve access to mental health services for young people, now and in the long-term.
Averting a lost COVID generation: a six-point plan to respond, recover and reimagine a post-pandemic world for every child
After almost one year since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the impact of the virus on the world’s children and young people is becoming clearer – and increasingly alarming. Despite being less affected than any other age group, emerging data suggest that children and young people’s health may be more directly impacted by COVID-19 than originally anticipated when the crisis began in late 2019. Disruptions to essential services such as education, health care, nutrition and child protection interventions are harming children. A severe global economic recession is impoverishing children and compounding deep pre-existing inequalities and exclusion.
On World Children’s Day, UNICEF is taking stock of the global impact of COVID-19 on children and young people, laying out what we know from the latest available data and research, highlighting what is still unclear as well as the options for action, and urging the world to take bold and unprecedented steps to reimagine a better future for children.
Mental health before and during the COVID-19 pandemic: a longitudinal probability sample survey of the UK population
Pierce, M, Hope, H, Ford, T, Hatch, S., Hotopf, M and John, A.
This study involved secondary analysis of a national, longitudinal cohort study, the UK Household Longitudinal Study (UKHLS). All members of the longitudinal panel aged 16 or older were invited to complete a COVID-19 web survey in April 2020. Prevalence of clinically significant levels of mental distress rose among participants from 18·9% in 2018–19 to 27·3% in April 2020, one month into UK lockdown. The most significant increases were found in young people aged 18–24 years.
COVID-19 in children and adolescents in Europe: a multinational, multicentre cohort study
Lancet Child Adolesc Health 2020; 4: 653–61
This study aimed to capture key data on children and adolescents with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection across Europe to inform physicians and health-care service planning during the ongoing pandemic. This multicentre cohort study involved 82 participating health-care institutions across 25 European countries. The study found COVID-19 is generally a mild disease in children, including infants. However, a small proportion develop severe disease requiring ICU admission and prolonged ventilation, although fatal outcome is overall rare. The data also reflect the current uncertainties regarding specific treatment options, highlighting that additional data on antiviral and immunomodulatory drugs are urgently needed.
Eurofound: Living, working and COVID-19 (vol. 1)
Eurofound Report covers the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic for young European people in the fields of employment, work-life balance, the use of telework, quality of life, health and safety and trust in institutions. The study found young people in the EU aged 18-34 report being more likely to feel depressed, lonely, and anxious than those aged 35 and over. The study also found they had lower levels of resilience in dealing with problems in life, and a significant decrease in life satisfaction compared to before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Youth Share their Formula: How they feel and take care of their mental health
This report details the rapid assessment of 8,444 young people between the ages of 13 and 29 in nine countries and territories in Latin America and the Caribbean. The report gives an account of the feelings young people faced in the first months of the response to the pandemic and the situation in September.
Youth & Covid-19: Impacts on Jobs, Education, Rights and Mental Wellbeing
European Youth Forum
This study reports the findings from the Global Survey on Youth and COVID-19 between April and May 2020. The Global Survey aimed to capture the immediate effects of the pandemic on the lives of young people (aged 18–29) with regards to employment, education, mental well-being, rights and social activism. Over 12,000 responses were received from 112 countries, with a large proportion coming from educated youth and those with Internet access.