COVID-19 Crisis Has Pushed Half Of World's Youth Into Depression, Anxiety & It May Get Worse
The COVID-19 pandemic has opened floodgates to major other critical situations which call for immediate attention. While its negative impact on mental health has been widely talked about, little is done towards actually tackling it.
According to a survey by International Labour Organisation - a United Nations agency, half the world's youth population are subject to anxiety or depression-causing circumstances and more than a third are uncertain of their future career prospects due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ILO's 'Youth and COVID-19: Impacts on jobs, education, rights and mental well-being' survey found that if urgent action is not taken, youths are at the risk of suffering severe and long-lasting adverse impacts from the pandemic.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted every aspect of our lives. Even before the onset of the crisis, the social and economic integration of young people was an ongoing challenge. Now, unless urgent action is taken, young people are likely to suffer severe and long-lasting impacts from the pandemic," the report said.
The ILO survey aimed to capture the immediate effects of the pandemic on the lives of youths (aged 18 to 29 years) with regard to employment, education, mental health, rights and social activism.
Over 12,000 responses were received from 112 countries, with a large proportion coming from educated youths with access to the internet.
The ILO survey found that one in two (i.e., 50 per cent) young people across the world are possibly subject to anxiety or depression, while 17 per cent are probably affected by it.
"Severe disruption to learning and working, compounded by the health crisis, has seen a deterioration in young people''s mental well-being," the survey said.
Mental well-being is lowest for young women and younger youths between the ages of 18 and 24 years.
Young people whose education or work was either disrupted or had stopped completely were almost twice as likely to be affected by anxiety or depression as compared to those who continued to be employed or whose education was not affected.