Editorial Perspective: Rapid responses to understand and address children and young people's mental health in the context of COVID-19.
Prior to the pandemic, we already had good reason to be concerned about the mental health of children and young people. As an example, the 2017 Mental Health of Children and Young People (MHCYP) survey in England, comprising a large, national probability sample, identified that one in nine children had a probable mental health disorder, with a 49% increase in emotional disorders compared to a previous survey in 2004 (Sadler et al., 2018). The pandemic has clearly brought a broad range of challenges to children and young people. These include the direct viral threat to self, friends, and family (with recent estimates of a 17.5%-20.2% increase in parental bereavement in the United States; Kidman et al, 2021), as well as disruptions to school work, social interactions, family pressures, economic impacts, a lack of opportunity and ongoing uncertainty, and reduced access to mental health and other support from outside the home. So how have these experiences affected the mental health of children and young people?