Coronavirus: the consequences for mental health
28th July 2021
This report has been published by Mind and examines the impact of Covid on people with mental health problems.
For the full report please download the attached pdf document
“Many people faced mental health difficulties before the pandemic, and they have been hit hardest.”
It’s been more than a year since the first lockdown was announced – and although restrictions may be beginning to lift, the impact of the pandemic is far from over. We all encountered the difficulties of not seeing family and friends and having to wear face masks. But it’s important to bring to light the unequal effects the pandemic has had on mental health. In particular, its effects on young people of colour, as well as those living in poverty and having problems with money and housing. The constant changes in rules and restrictions have overshadowed the lived experiences of people with mental health problems, and the impact on their wellbeing.
Empowering young people from racialised communities to speak openly
My role in this research involved running a focus group with other young people from racialised communities. I thoroughly enjoyed training in qualitative research and facilitating a focus group to hear the experiences of young people from communities like mine. Not only was there empathy, but it was intriguing to discover each person’s thoughts and opinions and how they felt about the situation over the past year. It’s essential to provide young people of colour with the platform to make their voices heard to break down stubborn social inequalities and empower and encourage them to speak openly about their mental health.
Involving young people from racialised communities in many aspects of research and unveiling what they have endured creates a community and a sense of togetherness. It shows no one is alone in their battles.
Even as we slowly resume our prepandemic lives, the effects of lockdown will still linger. Conquering the struggles of the pandemic has been a huge accomplishment in itself – but worries and anxieties about the future still remain. Many people faced mental health difficulties before the pandemic, and it is those who were struggling before that have been hit hardest in the past year. Understanding their experiences will enable people to get support that resonates with their experiences and improves their wellbeing.
Our research will not only create awareness of the challenges we have all faced, but will lead the way forward with confidence and reassurance.
Youth Voice Network Member and facilitator of Mind’s coronavirus research focus groups with young people from racialised communities. You can hear voices from the focus groups throughout our report.
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