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How the Pandemic Impacted Teenager Mental Health in the UK

Updated: Oct 10, 2023

The COVID-19 pandemic that swept Britain in early 2020 had significant effects on adolescents' mental health. Studies conducted locally have revealed the challenges teens faced.

Research from the University of Oxford found loneliness doubled and depression tripled among UK youth ages 11-16 during the first 2020 lockdown. Anxiety and suicidal thoughts also increased dramatically.

Teens missed out on social interactions from school closures and activity restrictions. Isolation from peers disrupted emotional wellbeing. The Prince’s Trust charity reports 46% of teens struggled with mental health due to the pandemic.

Exam cancellations added stress and uncertainty around school. Remote learning was a challenge for focus and academic performance. Data from the NHS showed a 20% rise in teenage psychiatric referrals in 2020 compared to 2019.

Tips for Parents

If you are concerned about your teen’s mental wellbeing, there are local resources in Peterborough that can help. Reach out to a registered/accredited counsellor for support. Therapy gives teens an outlet to process emotions and build resilience.

Maintain routines, get fresh air daily, and keep social connections online and safely in person. Check in often and keep communication open. Watch for mood changes, lack of engagement, and sleep disruptions.

Teens have shown remarkable adaptability throughout the pandemic. With care and support, their mental health can stay strong even through adversity.


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