Rates of depression have skyrocketed among children under COVID-19 lockdown, according to a new study from the University of Cambridge.
The study, which tracked 168 children between the ages of 7-1/2 and 11-1/2 before and after the U.K. government imposed the first lockdown, concluded there was “a significant increase in depression symptoms” among the participants.
“During the UK lockdown, children’s depression symptoms have increased substantially, relative to before lockdown,” the study read. “The scale of this effect has direct relevance for the continuation of different elements of lockdown policy, such as complete or partial school closures.”
The study continued: “Specifically, we observed a statistically significant increase in ratings of depression, with a medium-to-large effect size. Our findings emphasise the need to incorporate the potential impact of lock-down on child mental health in planning the ongoing response to the global pandemic and the recovery from it.”
The study is yet another example of the toll that COVID-19 lockdowns are taking on young people. In August, a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) determined that more than a quarter of young people aged 18-24 had “seriously contemplated” suicide in the prior month.
As The Daily Wire reported:
More than 25% of young Americans aged 18-24 have seriously considered killing themselves during the last month, according to the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report released on Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has been associated with mental health challenges related to the morbidity and mortality caused by the disease and to mitigation activities, including the impact of physical distancing and stay-at-home orders,” the report began. “Symptoms of anxiety disorder and depressive disorder increased considerably in the United States during April–June of 2020, compared with the same period in 2019.”
Children and teens suffering from mental issues have struggled to find adequate help during the pandemic. As The Daily Wire reported:
Children and teens have seen an increase in anxiety, depression, and thoughts of self-harm due to the isolation caused by the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns.
Those same lockdowns are keeping these young people from getting the help they need, The Associated Press reported.
“With schools closed, routines disrupted and parents anxious over lost income or uncertain futures, children are shouldering new burdens many are unequipped to bear. And with surging numbers of hospitalized COVID-19 patients, bed space is even scarcer,” the outlet reported. “By early fall, many Massachusetts ERs were seeing about four times more children and teens in psychiatric crisis weekly than usual, said Ralph Buonopane, a mental health program director at Franciscan Hospital for Children in Boston.”
“I’ve been director of this program for 21 years and worked in child psychiatric services since the 1980s and it is very much unprecedented,” Buonopane told the outlet.