The COVID-19 pandemic looks set to create a mental health crisis affecting young people in the UK, and experts at Swansea University Medical School are finding out how best to deal with it.
The Adolescent Mental Health Data Platform (ADP), led by Professor Ann John, Professor in Public Health and Psychiatry with our client, Population Data Science at Swansea University Medical School, has been researching the impact of COVID-19 to help build an evidence base to support young people during and after the epidemic.
The ADP team has conducted surveys and reviewed published evidence on the psychological, social, and neuroscientific effects of COVID-19. Professor John is also part of an expert panel convened by the UK Academy of Medical Sciences and the mental health research charity, MQ.
The study aims to identify the immediate priorities and the longer-term strategies which will be needed.
Professor John said: “There is a real need to understand and to act in a way that will make a difference to the effects of COVID-19 on young people’s mental health. At the moment most of our understanding comes from convenience surveys that are unlikely to represent the experience of all young people.
“We need multidisciplinary research to understand how the pandemic and the measures taken to curb it have affected young people’s mental health and behaviours such as alcohol and drug use, online gambling, and cyberbullying. We need to use that understanding to deliver effective solutions in new ways, evaluating our activities as we go along.”
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