The COVID-19 pandemic is having a pervasive effect on young people's mental health and well-being, giving rise to feelings of deep uncertainty and lack of control. Inspired by Amartya Sen's capabilities framework, we argue that building capacity and creating opportunities for community and civic engagement during this time will help young people gain agency and well-being. We highlight two key areas for participatory engagement: coproduction of research, and peer-led interventions. Providing capabilities for young people's agency not only builds personal resilience, but also strengthens the quality of our research, interventions and overall response to the global health crisis.
Child Adolesc Ment Health