Thousands of children living in poverty have had their mental health ‘crushed’ by lockdowns, leaving them ‘struggling to just get through the day’, a report reveals.
More than a quarter of 75 charities surveyed said some children had expressed suicidal thoughts, while 41 per cent said some had been abused at home in lockdown.
Overall more than eight in ten of the organisations said the children they work with ‘were experiencing serious mental health issues as a direct result of lockdown measures’.
And almost four out of five charities said that social distancing and a lack of social interaction were still damaging children’s mental health despite lockdown easing.
Despite recent debate focusing on educational catch-up efforts, today’s findings will intensify fears over a looming mental health crisis among the ‘Covid generation’.
Heartbreaking testimony in the report included an 11-year-old saying how during lockdown: ‘I used to go to my room, hide under the covers and cry, and cry, and cry.’
One nine-year-old boy said he felt he had ‘forgotten everything’ he learnt at school.
He said: ‘I was looking forward to going back to school but when I got there, I wanted to come home again because the teacher didn’t make any sense. I just couldn’t understand what he was saying. I’d forgotten everything. Now I don’t want to go to school anymore. I feel really anxious.’