New research looking at 29 studies from around the world, including 80,879 youth, found that depression and anxiety symptoms have doubled in children and adolescents when compared to pre-pandemic times. Globally, 25% of adolescents now have clinically elevated depression symptoms, and 20% are experiencing clinically elevated anxiety symptoms.
Before the pandemic, youth mental health was already on the decline. COVID-19 restrictions might have exacerbated this trend; according to the study, social isolation and a lack of peer interaction may have contributed to feelings of sadness, loss of interest in activities, and other symptoms of depression.
The study recommends that more mental health support should be made available to help children and adolescents in this time of need.
- Racine, N., McArthur, B. A., Cooke, J. E., Eirich, R., Zhu, J., & Madigan, S. (2021). Global prevalence of depressive and anxiety symptoms in children and adolescents during COVID-19: a meta-analysis. JAMA Pediatrics. doi: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2021.2482. Retrieved from: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/fullarticle/2782796