How the COVID-19 Pandemic Affected Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing in the UK: A Qualitative Study
This paper aimed to gain a deeper understanding of young people’s experiences in relation to their mental health and wellbeing during the pandemic. Seventeen young people, aged 11 to 16 years, sampled for diverse characteristics, and living in the UK, were interviewed virtually between December 2020 and February 2021.
- Using Reflexive thematic analysis, five themes were developed: (1) positives; (2) worries and anxiety; (3) sadness and anger about losses; (4) mental exhaustion; and (5) support from others.
- Young people’s individual circumstances, e.g., pre-existing mental health difficulties; special educational needs and neurodevelopmental disorders, appeared to play a role in their experiences.
- Continued measurement, initiatives to identify young people who have been struggling and the provision of support will be important for protecting young people from future adversities.