Mission Australia’s 2021 Youth Survey exposes the heavy toll of the pandemic on young people’s health and wellbeing, giving fresh insight into their concerns for the future.
Among the 20,207 teens surveyed nationally, nearly half cited coping with stress and mental health during the pandemic as their top concerns. And 36.8 per cent were “extremely or very concerned’’ about school or study issues.
Stress levels were also high, with 44.5% of young people surveyed saying they felt stressed either all of the time or most of the time.
The survey revealed that gender diverse young people experienced poorer mental health concerns than their peers, with 72.2% of those who identified as gender diverse feeling extremely or very concerned about their mental health. They also shared significant concerns about bullying, emotional abuse and personal safety.
At a glance:
- Top 3 issues of concern: COVID-19 (45.7%), the environment (38.0%) and equity & discrimination (35.4%)
- Top 3 areas impacted negatively by COVID-19: participation in activities (68.3%), education (62.3%) and mental health (50.3%)
- Mental Health: Four in 10 (41.9%) young people were extremely or very concerned about mental health.
- High stress: 44.5% of young people said they felt stressed either all of the time or most of the time.
In delivering the 2021 Youth Survey, Mission Australia CEO James Toomey stressed the importance of listening to young Australians’ perspectives and including them in key decision-making.
“Now is a critical time to make sure young people are heard. Young people can and should create and advise on solutions that will address issues that affect them, other young people, and Australia. The Youth Survey is just one way of capturing the voices of young people, but they are telling us that they want to feel heard in political and decision-making processes.
“Young people have the answers. It’s a matter of ensuring they are genuinely listened to, included in decision-making processes, and their concerns acted upon. It’s the brightest way forward for us all.”
About the 2021 Youth Survey
The Mission Australia Youth Survey is the largest annual survey of young people in Australia. Now in its 20th year, the survey continues to provide a platform for young people aged 15 to 19 to share their values, aspirations and concerns.
As the major philanthropic partner of Mission Australia, our Foundation has raised over $70M since 1990. This partnership has enabled a best practice model of treatment for young people with drug and alcohol addiction. The Foundation is the major funder of Mission Australia’s Triple Care Farm, a unique, holistic treatment centre, which each year gives vulnerable young Australians, aged 16-24, a safe place to get well and prepare for new opportunities.
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