Almost 70 per cent of young people (aged 16-19) in Ireland are optimistic that society will change for the better in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s according to new research published today, which was carried out by Young Social Innovators (YSI) with its partner, market research and data specialists, Amárach Research. Young Social Innovators is Ireland’s largest social awareness and active citizenship and education programme for 15- to 18-year-olds.
The results of the research comes five and a half weeks since the closure of schools across the country, and offers insight into how young people are coping with life during the ongoing public health emergency, and of their thoughts of what life may look like afterwards.
Key findings of YSI and Amárach research
The impact of COVID-19 on young people’s mental health
- 37 per cent of young people are feeling calm, positive, motivated and enthusiastic during the current pandemic
- 53 per cent of young people are feeling anxious, stressed or depressed
- More than eight in 10 young people feel COVID-19 is impacting on their life a lot
How young people are staying connected during COVID-19
- 66 per cent of young people surveyed have spoken to, or confided in, a family member or friend about how they are feeling as a result of COVID-19
- Maintaining a connection to friends is important for young people during the crisis, with almost 70 per cent spending more time on the phone / internet with friends while confined to the home
- Almost all young people surveyed feel they have some knowledge of COVID-19, with six in 10 stating that they know a lot
- 70 per cent of young people are engaging with the news at least once a day, with over 80 per cent getting their news from television
- Almost 80 per cent of young people are using an app to keep in touch with friends, with Snapchat (83 per cent) and Instagram (57 per cent) the most-used platforms
- There is a strong interest among young people in helping out in their community, with 52 per cent of those surveyed having a desire to help, or are already helping
How young people are practicing social distancing
- There is clarity among the majority of young people on hand washing and social distancing
- Young people have a clear understanding of the importance of following Government guidelines. However, young people are less clear around what to do if someone in their family develops symptoms
- The majority (94 per cent) of young people have stopped going out to meet up with friends; 80 per cent are keeping at least two metres apart from people when in public; 78 per cent are practising strict hand washing, and 68 per cent are practicing proper coughing hygiene
Open Call to Teenagers #YSIOpenCall
YSI is launching an Open Call to Teenagers to submit ideas in response to the challenges they see emerging from the COVID-19 crisis. The Open Call to Teenagers which aims to explore, create and innovate around issues caused by Coronavirus runs from 20th April until 31st May. YSI will provide support for young people to develop their ideas before submission. Those with the most potential for impact will be given the opportunity to pitch to a digital panel of leaders from across business, NGO and Government, hosted by Virgin Media.
For more information, visit youngsocialinnovators.ie.
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