New study to determine youth mental health impact of COVID-19

New study to determine youth mental health impact of COVID-19

26 June 2020

A new Orygen study will explore the mental health impacts of COVID-19 on young people living in Australia and their use of social media and other technologies during the pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about sudden and dramatic changes to the lives of young people, including separation from their friends, changes to their daily routines and uncertainty about the future, as well as likely increases in mental ill-health.

Head of suicide prevention research at Orygen and co-leader of the study, Associate Professor Jo Robinson, said there was growing evidence that COVID-19 has had a negative impact on the mental health of young people living in Australia.

“Understanding how the mental health of young people has been impacted is important so that we can ensure that their needs are being properly met, to help them communicate safely and effectively, and to support an efficient and effective recovery post-COVID-19,” Associate Professor Robinson said.

The study will survey young people aged 16-25 living in Australia. The survey will take approximately 30 minutes to complete. Survey respondents will go into a draw to win an iPad.

The study will also examine how technology, including social media, is being used by young people during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Orygen research fellow, and co-leader of the study, Dr Imogen Bell said while technology and social media could provide young people with mental health information and supports, they could sometimes be harmful as well.

“This study will help us to understand how technology is being used by young people during COVID-19 and the ways that it might help support them with their mental health,” Dr Bell said.

“By understanding this we can ensure young people are being provided appropriate mental health supports and help inform the development of digital technologies that can provide extra support when and where it’s needed.”

The study is open now until the end of August. The results from the study are expected to be released in September 2020.

The study is being funded by Future Generation Global.

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