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Effect of pandemic on children's wellbeing revealed in new report

A new report published to mark World Mental Health Day has provided an in-depth picture of the experiences of children and young people during the pandemic and how it affected their wellbeing.

Some challenges were identified including isolation from friends, learning from home, or worries that family or friends might get sick but many parents also reported improved relationships with their children and that the majority of children spent time in outside green spaces at least a couple of times a week during lockdown.

The Government’s second annual State of the Nation report finds that children and young people aged five to 24 generally responded with resilience to changes in their lives between March and September 2020, and despite indications of challenges to their mental wellbeing they report stable levels of happiness and only slight reduction in satisfaction with their lives.

The report brings together a range of published data to help the Government, schools and colleges, public services and parents better understand children and young people’s experiences of the pandemic and the continued support that will be needed to ensure that recovery is maintained. It suggests that returning to school or college is likely to be playing a vital role in improving the mental wellbeing of many pupils by easing some of the main worries identified in the research: time off from education, being isolated from friends, fewer opportunities to be more physically active and also providing access to pastoral support.