3 out of 4 young people have very difficult time dealing with COVID-19 lockdowns; survey finds increased emotional stress, boredom and early signs of depression in children and adolescents.
Primary research carried out by FundLife, a local youth-led NGO based in Leyte found that in addition to disruption to children’s education, COVID-19 is having a significant affect on young people’s mental well-being and is contributing to increased anxiety and worry.
With all schools closed across the Philippines since March 11th, the educational impact on children has been severe. In a survey carried out in Leyte between July-August, FundLife found that the impact on mental well-being has also been substantial.
In the absence of regular schooling and physical learning in a safe and enabling environment, children and youth have lost their sense of structure and social stimulation. In the first three months of lockdowns, they have seen all interaction with friends removed and often miss the social support they had to cope with everyday issues that is vital for mental well-being.
In a small sample survey of 42 children and young people (aged 10-24), findings showed that 7 out of 10 (71%) young people are directly worried about the virus and it’s impact on them and their families and over 30% of all young people reported feeling helpless during the lockdowns. More worryingly, 3 out of 4 young people interviewed admitted that they are having a very hard time getting through the imposed lockdowns, which has seem them unable to leave their houses as strict 24-hour curfew is enforced to mitigate the spread of of COVID-19.
Data also showed that 6 out of 10 children and young people have reported becoming less resilient during the COVID-19 lockdowns, with almost 50% reporting that they typically just sleep if they have nothing to do. Over 60% also said that since COVID-19, they are watching more TV as they are not in school, while 8 in 10 said they are living with increased concern about a family member getting very sick because of COVID-19.
In an effort to support young people during the lockdowns, FundLife has already produced over 50 ‘Learn-from-Home’ and ‘Healthy-at-Home’ videos to help young people during this protracted pandemic as well as providing education for children to stay safe. 84% of young people said the videos motivate them to be healthier, while 1 in 2 said that they videos changes their mood and they feel happy to see their coaches interacting with them. 5% said that the videos make them sadder, because it reminds them of physical exercises and regular sessions before COVID-19 lockdowns, but they cannot leave the house.
FundLife is continuing to support young people and is currently delivering ‘Resiliency-at-Home’ packs to support young people and to help them cope with the social and emotional impact of COVID-19. With the suspension of school reaching over 200 days, the continued impact on young people will only worsen, unless something is done to help them.
To learn more about FundLife’s emergency response to COVID-19 and regular programming, visit www.fundlife.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org