New study to assess mental wellbeing of young people in Oxfordshire during lockdown

Oxford Uni is working with the county's schools to look at the impact on things like sleep or eating patterns.

It's assessing things like anxiety and young people's online behaviours during the coronavirus pandemic.

Researchers will compare the results to data collected this time last year.

The university is recruiting through local schools for the survey, which young people (aged 9 to 18 years) can do anonymously.

Over 4,000 Oxfordshire pupils in 36 schools took part in The Oxfordshire Online Mental Health and Wellbeing Survey in 2019.

This year changes have been made so that it is relevant to the current COVID-19 challenges.

Mina Fazel, Associate Professor at the University of Oxford and lead researcher on the study said, 'We are very excited to launch the 2020 Online Pupil survey.

'It will give us a unique opportunity to understand how young people are managing during lockdown, helping us to ensure that we are as prepared as possible to support their mental health needs now and when schools formally open again.' 

The study aims to identify patterns for seeking support, so that mental health services and resources in schools can be tailored according to current identified needs. 

The factors assessed in the survey include:

  •  Mental wellbeing
  • Anxiety
  • Indicators of vulnerability
  • Sleep patterns
  • Online safety
  • Protective factors, such as exercise and healthy eating
  • Attitudes to accessing mental health support

The survey has been launched as The charity Young Minds reveals two in three parents are concerned about the long-term impact of coronavirus on their child's mental health.

It says the problems they're experiencing include anxiety and missing real contact with friends, with many also worried about how their children cope with getting back to normality.

The results of the Oxford Uni survey can be accessed directly by schools as well as services, making it as useful and helpful as possible to as many relevant services as possible. 

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