New research reveals the concerns of young people in Edinburgh during Covid-19 pandemic
Following the closure of schools, colleges and universities, new research suggests almost nine out of ten (88%) young people in Edinburgh are concerned about exams and coursework while almost all (98%) worry about the impact of coronavirus on their future.
A new study commissioned by the Scottish Youth Parliament, YouthLink Scotland and Young Scot asked young people to share their concerns about COVID-19.
Working in partnership, Scotland’s leading youth organisations produced the LockdownLowdown report to identify what young people need from the Scottish Government, the NHS, local authorities and others in the future.
The research found that three-quarters (76%) of young people in Edinburgh are concerned about their mental wellbeing.
While nine out of ten young people know how to access information, advice and updates around lockdown, 64% don’t know where to access information on financial support. That comes at a time when almost three-quarters of young Scots are concerned about their financial situation.
More than 2,400 young people across Scotland took part in the research and many respondents stated that decision-makers should improve the impact on education while calling for restrictions to be stricter.
Jack Dudgeon MSYP, Chair of Scottish Youth Parliament, said: “Young people need reassurance that their life opportunities are not at risk. 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 young people in Edinburgh are 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 COVID-19.”
Tim Frew, CEO 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.
“Youth workers will continue to find innovative ways to support young people through this uncertain time in their lives. 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.”
Louise Macdonald OBE, chief executive of 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 in Edinburgh 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.”
The findings of the LockdownLowdown report will be shared with stakeholders who can use the insights to feed directly into policy design and service provision in response to the pandemic.
Following on from this initial research, young people will be encouraged to keep submitting their questions and concerns on a weekly survey hosted on social media. This will track the key issues that are worrying young people in Scotland and Young Scot will respond to these insights and tailor daily digital information to ensure that young people have all the information they need.