Summary of report content
Healthwatch Stockton wanted to focus upon the views of younger people, up to the age of 20, about the Covid-19 pandemic. They spoke to a total of 30 people.
It is clear from the information gathered in this survey that the Covid -19 pandemic has had a significant impact upon the lives of most young people. Having to remain at home without face-to-face contact with family and friends and not being able to go to school had a major impact upon young people.
For a smaller number, illness was a significant issue, either their own health or that of a family member. A large majority of respondents felt that the pandemic had had a negative effect upon their emotional and/or mental health.
Although many had managed to keep in contact with friends/family via electronic technology such as mobile phones and use of apps like Zoom and Facetime this did not replace face to face contact. In addition, the increased use of such technology may, at least in part, have resulted in significant changes to the sleep patterns of young people. A large majority reported going to bed later and getting up later during the period. People also told us that they have been taking less exercise.
For many, the impact of missing out on schooling and the effect all of this might have on exam results was a significant concern for them. Not being clear about what was expected of them whilst working from home also caused concerns, and a couple of people told us they did not have access to the necessary equipment to work from home. 40% of those who responded told us that they had concerns about falling behind with their education. Although looking forward to a return to school to see their friends and to continue their education over 50% of people told us they were very apprehensive about this, and what school would be like once they returned there. Only three people out of the 25 who answered the question had no concerns about their future education.
Nearly two thirds of people had not heard of Kooth, an online free and confidential service providing counselling and other support for young people experiencing any emotional or mental health issues.
There was one recommendation about better promotion of the services provided by Kooth.