Coronavirus survey into children's mental health reveals anxiety, depression

14 October 2020

Nearly one in five children experienced disruptive behaviour, disturbed sleep, and symptoms of anxiety or depression during coronavirus restrictions earlier this year, however, the majority adapted well to the changes, a national survey has found.

The survey of more than 700 families found that while 80 per cent of the children were reported to have good mental and emotional health, up to 10 per cent may need support.

The survey provided valuable insights into the lived experience of young children during the pandemic.

Lead researcher Dr Alex De Young, Research Fellow at the UQ School of Psychology, told ABC News that the mental health needs of children were often forgotten, despite being affected in a variety of ways by the pandemic.

"Young children are resilient ... they're adapting to change, showing positive mental health and meeting their developmental milestones," she said.

"About 20 per cent of children have experienced confusion, worry and unhelpful thoughts and behaviours related to COVID-19.

"With support from parents and other caring adults, most of these problems are likely to settle over time.

"Families who have experienced other traumatic events, such as the bushfires earlier this year, or other natural disasters, or those who don't have much social support, are more likely to struggle with the ongoing pandemic."

Read full ABC News article