A new report released today by Mission Australia reveals that young people who said COVID-19 was their biggest issue in 2020 were most concerned about the impact of the pandemic on their education, experience of isolation and mental health. The young people hardest hit by these issues were those living in Victoria, and 17-year-olds were most likely to say their education was severely impacted by COVID-19.
The Young Voices of the Pandemic: Youth Survey COVID Report 2020 brings to life reflections on the experience of living through the pandemic between April and August 2020 through voices and perspectives from young people in Australia aged between 15 and 19.
Young Victorians were more likely to report COVID-19 was the biggest issue they had been facing than their peers in other States and Territories. Additionally, young people in Victoria were more likely to be concerned about COVID-19 affecting their education, isolation and mental health than young people residing in other States and Territories.
Nationally, four in 10 (41.1%) respondents who said COVID-19 affected their education were 17 years old, indicating those in their senior years of school were severely impacted by the pandemic.
More than one third (34.4%) of respondents who reported COVID-19 and education was their top personal concern were living in Victoria.
Almost half (43.9%) of the young people who revealed personal concerns in relation to the impact of COVID-19 on being and feeling isolated were living in Victoria. Nationally, more than two thirds of those reporting mental health concerns due to COVID-19 were young females (68.9% of females compared with 23.9% of males).
Young people affected by COVID-19 described disruptions to their everyday lives as making them feel worried and stressed and without access to their usual supports.
Mission Australia’s CEO, James Toomey said: “These findings make clear the breadth and depth of the toll that COVID-19 has had on young people living in Australia. Major disruptions to education, increased isolation from peers, family and community, and mental health concerns understandably featured heavily within young people’s responses.
Report Infographic: Young Voices of the Pandemic: Youth Survey COVID Report infographic