COVID-19 has affected the mental health of youths and created a sense of fear and uncertainty about their future.
A research by Headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation has revealed that 40 per cent of respondents felt that the pandemic has impacted their confidence to achieve future goals and 51 per cent felt that their mental health had got worse during this period.
The national survey was conducted on 2,208 youths between the age of 15-25 years and parents of youths aged 12-25 years during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Meanwhile, Headspace Goulburn service manager Gail Davis says there has been an increase in the number of people reaching out to them.
"Things were quieter initially when the pandemic hit but that has changed in the last few weeks. At the moment, our waitlist is only two-three weeks. With more people reaching out to us, we are anticipating that it will get longer," Miss Davis said.
The survey also reveals discrepancies between how much parents believe their young peoples' lives are impacted as a result of COVID-19 and what young people are actually saying themselves.
When asked about the negative impacts of COVID-19, the parents emphasised negatives that were not as keenly felt by the young people.
Parents felt that their young person's participation in sport (62 per cent vs 46 per cent), exercise and physical activity (49 per cent vs 38 per cent) and their general routine (58 per cent vs 48 per cent) were all negatively impacted.
Conversely, half of all young people felt the pandemic had negatively impacted their interactions with friends (56 per cent), their study situation (53 per cent), their routine (48 per cent) and their mood (47 per cent).
"Some parents are well connected with their children at home and are picking up signs that they are not coping well with COVID-19," Miss Davis said.
"But we also have young people who don't want to talk about these things with their parents. They are not reaching out to get the help and support that is out there for them."
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The survey also highlights the situation of young people in regional areas.
It states that 38 per cent of young people feel that COVID-19 has impacted their confidence to achieve their future goals and 53 per cent feel that their mental health has gotten worse since the outbreak of the pandemic.
One in five young people believe they need support for their mental health but are not seeking out professional help (20 per cent), it says.
"We can see from the research that COVID-19 has had significant negative short term impacts for young people when it comes to things like study, interactions with friends, work situation and mood, but the long term impacts have the potential to be much greater," Headspace CEO Jason Trethowan said.
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