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Survey reveals impact of lockdown on girls and young women

 

A quarter of girls aged 11-14 said the lockdown was affecting their mental health.

Thousands of girls and young women are struggling with their mental health amid the coronavirus lockdown, a new survey has revealed.

Almost a quarter (23%) of girls aged 11-14 said the lockdown has had a negative impact on their mental health, according to the research for Girlguiding.

Over a third (38%) of those aged 4-10 said they felt sad most of the time, while a third of girls aged 11-14 told researchers they struggled with loneliness.

School closures were also found to have had a major impact on all girls and young women. The majority of younger girls (4-10) miss their teachers and teaching assistants (81%), and over half miss playtime with their friends (60%).

Nearly half (46%) of older girls aged 11-18 said they found it hard to focus on schoolwork and education and had mixed feelings on learning from home.

Three in ten girls in this age group also said they are worried about their own health and getting sick, while many more, 88%, are worried about other people becoming ill.

Nearly all girls aged 11-18 in Scotland (89%) said they would like more information about what to expect in the future, including details on the reopening of schools. Many have welcomed the action taken by the First Minister speaking directly to children and young people and they want to see more of this. Just over half of girls aged 11 -18 say they would like more information from the government aimed directly at children and young people.

Denise Spence, Girlguiding Scotland CEO, said: “Girlguiding Scotland has a unique window into the lives and attitudes of girls and young women across Scotland and the results of this survey make it clear that the impact of the coronavirus is being felt in every household.

“Organisations like Girlguiding are vital at this time to help support girls and young women cope with the challenges of life right now and amplify their voices. It’s important decision makers listen to girls and young women and we welcome the steps by the Scottish Government to include children and young people in conversations about the coronavirus.

“We want to see this continue as we transition out of lockdown, and for other world leaders to do the same.”

Girlguiding Scotland speak out champion, Ella, 17, added: “The results of the survey show that many girls and young women are experiencing poor mental health right now and it’s vital that young people know where to go for support.

“It can be easy to forget about mental health during a crisis like this as we focus on the physical effects of the virus, but having services like helplines and online resources easily accessible make a huge impact.”

 

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