The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic is having an unprecedented impact on the lives of people across the United Kingdom, including millions of children and young people. For those with existing mental health needs, the situation is creating additional anxiety and uncertainty, coupled with increased difficulties in accessing support. We carried out a survey with 2,111 young people with a history of mental health needs between Friday 20th March (the day that schools closed to most children) and Wednesday 25th March (when there had been a further tightening of restrictions) in order to establish the impact of the pandemic on their mental health and on their ability access to support. We also asked respondents about helpful and unhelpful coping strategies, and for advice to other young people. This is a snapshot of young people’s views and experiences at a particular time, in a rapidly changing situation. The challenges they face, the concerns they have and their ability to access support may change considerably over the coming weeks.
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