With the COVID-19 global pandemic, children and young people in Australia are living through unparalleled times.
Kids Helpline and the Australian Human Rights Commission have co-authored this report on the impacts of COVID-19 on children and young people who contact Kids Helpline.
The report examines the types of COVID-19-related concerns that children and young people aged 5 to 25 years raised with Kids Helpline counsellors between January and the end of April 2020. There were 2,567 contacts from children and young people who raised COVID-19 during this time period.
The overall top five concerns related to COVID-19 raised by these children and young people were:
- Mental health concerns resulting from COVID-19
- Social isolation
- Education impacts
- Impacts on family life
- Changes to plans and usual activities.
The report also highlights some key areas for government action to alleviate some of the negative impacts of the pandemic, particularly on children and young people. These include:
- investing in child and youth-focused mental health services and support
- promoting clear, accurate and child-friendly information and resources
- supporting schools and other educational institutions to deliver quality online learning and maintain help and connection for vulnerable students
- extending economic support to all families and young people that need it, and making skills development and youth employment a key focus of recovery
- prioritising services for vulnerable children and young people
- involving children and young people in responses to COVID-19 and recovery plans.