Majority of young Scots worried about impact of coronavirus

Scottish Youth Parliament research shows 96% of young people are concerned future opportunities are at risk.

Almost all of Scotland’s youth are concerned about the impact of Covid-19 on their futures, according to a new study.

In research commissioned by the Scottish Youth Parliament, 96% of young people said they are worried about the impact the coronavirus pandemic is having on their futures.

Mental health was also a major worry during the lockdown, with 77% saying they were concerned on the impact it was having, while 40% were unsure where they could get help.

Jack Dudgeon, the chairman of the Scottish Youth Parliament, said: “Young people need reassurance that their life opportunities are not at risk.

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“Before the pandemic, we already knew that young people were battling a mental health epidemic, with rates of depression and anxiety skyrocketing.

“The findings from LockdownLowdown reveal that 40% are moderately to extremely concerned about their own mental wellbeing. With their democratic mandate, members of the Scottish Youth Parliament will work with decision-makers for the benefit of young people’s futures in the context of Covid-19.”

Tim Frew, chief executive of YouthLink Scotland, said: “The findings of the survey echo much of what we hear from youth workers across Scotland.

“Many young people are anxious about what life is like now and what it will be like post-lockdown, and the impact of social isolation on their mental health and wellbeing.

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“It is not just the actions as a society we take now that will be crucial, young people deserve a commitment to the continuity of the services that support them post-Covid-19.”

The survey of 2400 young people also showed that 49% are concerned about exams and coursework, and 61% did not know where to access information on financial support.

Louise Macdonald, chief executive of youth information and citizenship charity Young Scot, said: “It’s no surprise that young people can feel overwhelmed or scared by everything they’re hearing about Covid-19, and the results of LockdownLowdown give us vital insight into what they are experiencing right now.

“At Young Scot, we will not waver from our commitment to young people and will continue to work tirelessly to provide relevant and accessible daily digital information.

“This will ensure that young people have all the information they need to make informed decisions and choices during these unsettling times.”