due to Covid-19, the mental health of young people has significantly deteriorated

Almost 63% of young Latvians believe that their mental health has deteriorated during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a survey conducted at the end of last year by the Center for Psychotherapy for Adolescents and Youth, writes press.lv.

70.4% of respondents admitted that over the past two weeks they experienced depression and depression, and 79.2% faced difficulties in learning. 60% of young people also have obsessive thoughts and irritability.

If during the first wave of Covid-19 young people assessed their mental state mainly as good (38.1%) or acceptable (24.3%), then during the second wave, assessments of “acceptable” (31.6%) and “bad” (29.8%).

The number of young people who feel very well during the pandemic has sharply decreased – if during the first wave there were 19.5% of them, then during the second wave it was only 7.6%. The number of young people who feel critically ill has also increased – from 4.6% during the first wave to 7.8% during the second.

The head of the Center for Psychotherapy for Adolescents and Youth, Nil Konstantinov, commenting on the results of the survey, noted that when overcoming the consequences of Covid-19, the state will have to think not only about the consequences in the economy, but also about the impact of the pandemic on the mental health of young people.

In his opinion, already now, the responsible institutions should seriously plan how to help young people recover their mental health after the crisis. This will be one of the main tasks in schools and families, and now it is necessary to teach adolescents and young people to help themselves, to recognize their mental state and react accordingly.

As indicated in the center, the rates of mental and behavioral disorders among adolescents in Latvia have been high for a long time. The high prevalence of these disorders is evidenced by the high rates of Latvia in comparison with other developed countries in terms of the number of suicides among young people, the use of psychoactive substances and violence in schools. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), even before the Covid-19 pandemic, Latvia ranked fourth in the world in terms of the number of suicides among young people aged 15 to 19 years.

The coronavirus pandemic has significantly aggravated the situation. As Konstantinov pointed out, mental health care in Latvia is poorly organized or not available at all, so the pandemic is likely to have significant negative short-term and long-term health consequences for young people.

The survey was conducted in November and December 2020 and involved more than 1,660 children and adolescents aged 12 to 19 years.

Source: GOROD.LV – новости Даугавпилса by gorod.lv.

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