Covid-19: The Impact of Lockdown Life on Young People’s Mental Wellbeing

COVID-19 Impact

The Coronavirus pandemic has been unprecedented, unplanned, and unlike any event that’s gone before. With mental health week just passed last month, we thought we’d reflect on the impact it’s had on young people and their mental well-being.

Recent studies from The Childhood Trust charity have found that many had concerns for their family’s health, their future, and the lack of support outside of their houses as a direct result of lockdown restrictions.

Take a look below as we analyse the struggles facing our youth of today.

1. Increased Isolation and Loneliness

With lockdown, comes a whole host of challenges. Most notably, the feeling of isolation from friends. The inability to meet up with peers and lack of social interaction with others can be tough for young people who often rely on close friendships for communication, support, and general comfort.

For students, in particular, leaving home for university in a brand-new city away from all home comforts is daunting enough. Add on the pressures of online learning, limitations to staying within the house, and the enforced ban of mixing friends/ family, young people have it tough.

2. Upset of Routine

The pandemic has upset all aspects of normal life; however, perhaps the biggest change is the transition to online learning. Young people are constantly battling with a lack of motivation from Zoom classes and pressure to perform well for ever-changing exam criteria.

Another big change is the sudden halt in everyday life. From youth centres to social clubs, closures around the UK have resulted in young people sacrificing their routines, whether in the form of hobbies, organisations, or events. Missing friends and family have a huge impact on the typically active social lives of teenagers.

3. Family Ties

Families can be difficult to manoeuvre at the best of times, add this to an intense environment with little personal space; relationships are sure to be tested.

Despite the opportunity for quality time with family, the lack of privacy and close dimensions make it difficult for young people to relax and re-charge after pro-longed social interactions. Space can do wonders for clearing the head!

4. Increased Anxiety

For many young people, older relatives are often dear to them. From vulnerable family members to parents working in high-risk jobs, young people are worried about the safety of loved ones around them.

Anxiety builds as they fear infecting older relations or struggle with the distance of self-isolating grandparents. The pandemic has separated families with young people often vilified as being careless and ignorant to guidelines. 

5. Online Pressures

With social media comes a world of fake news. Fear-mongering stories and unreliable sources have seen the spreading of false and conflicting information. Reports often lack clarity, leading to confusion as young people attempt to navigate their way through the outpouring of negative news.

6. Future Employment Worries

Financial strains and redundancy cuts have made the job market more competitive than ever. From weekend retail jobs to full-time employment, young people are facing a huge struggle as all ages and experiences battle for roles.

Concerns over loss of income and lack of work experience pile onto the growing list of pressures for young people as they attempt to balance work, relationships, and their own well-being.

How is EmployabilityUK helping to tackle this?

At EmployabilityUK, we recognise the importance of good mental health. The well-being of young people is a top priority of ours, and open communication and trust are amongst our most treasured values. With our services, we can offer the best forms of support to help ease the challenges presented by COVID-19.

Feelings of anxiety, stress, and depression are understandably heightened right now, which is why, with our programmes, we can address and collectively work to ease such pressures. From providing employability skills packages as part of the government Kickstart Scheme to offering free employability skills workshops, we aspire every day to better the lives of the individuals we work with.

Another resource available is our Mentoring Programme. Providing business mentors to young people in education, the programme aims to present a window into the world of business and commerce. Regular contact and ongoing learning develop skills to be employed in the working world. Through our mentoring, we hope to inspire students and encourage future career aspirations. Individual employers also have the ability to help support students and young job seekers in the form of our bespoke employee volunteering programmes. Contribution can come in many forms including; sponsored workshops, volunteering, programme funding, or charitable donations, allowing us as a charity to reach even more young people. Sharing knowledge and experiences, organisations benefit from attracting new talent and aide in building brighter futures. We have the teams and tools in place to meet all needs of the young people we work with. Healing starts with a simple conversation.