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Young Aussies fearful of the future

Headspace Campbelltown youth advocate Chloe Gray says one of the biggest things she has noticed during Covid-19 is “people really struggling with motivation’’.

“Our whole lives have changed and we’re being told that our jobs, our future goals and what we’ve been looking forward to may not even be possible at the end of this,’’ says the 21 year old.

“It definitely takes a toll on you.”

Ms Gray was speaking in the wake of new research released this week from headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation which shows that young Australians are fearful and uncertain for their future as a result of the pandemic.

Aysun Goktepe, the centre manager of headspace Campbelltown says: “The Macarthur region is the fastest growing area in the country, and on top of this we’re seeing a huge increase in the number of young people seeking support from headspace Campbelltown.

“Change can be really difficult to adapt to, especially for young people because you’re starting to develop the tools you need.

“That’s why it’s really important that we encourage those around us who may be struggling to reach out and get help.”

The national survey of 2,208 young people aged 15-25 and 2,164 parents of young people aged 12-25 conducted at the height of the Covid-19 lockdown in Australia showed 40 percent of young respondents felt that the pandemic had impacted their confidence to achieve future goals.

Half of all respondents felt their mental health had got worse during this period (51 percent).

According to headspace CEO Jason Trethowan, these results not only reflect the current mental health status of young Australians, but raise serious concerns for future wellbeing.  

“We know young people are concerned about what their future looks like and how the current climate is impacting their ability to achieve their goals.

“This sense of fear and uncertainty has the potential to be quite significant and it’s critically important that any young person going through a tough time can and does access support,” Mr Trethowan said.

 The survey results also revealed significant discrepancies between how much parents believed their young peoples’ lives were impacted as a result of Covid-19 and what young people were actually saying themselves.

Headspace has just launched a new digital awareness campaign “together we’ve got this”, to support the mental health of young people and their parents as we move through the COVID-19 pandemic.

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