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The mental health toll of the pandemic has left three in four teens experiencing physical health issues including hair loss, digestive problems, migraines, lethargy or weight changes.
4.1 million young people have experienced symptoms of poor mental health over the last ten months – many for the first time according to a new study by Bupa as part of its Teen Minds: Living Through a Pandemic and Beyond campaign. These issues have manifested as physical health issues for 3.9 million feeling close to breaking point.
Worryingly, the study reveals over half of teenagers have turned to harmful coping mechanisms to manage their mental health during the pandemic (52%), such as controlling or restricting their food intake, picking their skin (excoriation), pulling out their hair (trichotillomania) and self-harm. While others admit to smoking, drinking and taking drugs as their form of escape.
Aston spoke to Caroline Harper, specialist nurse advisor for mental health at Bupa to discuss the findings and offered advice to parents and teens.
Photo by Matt Seymour on Unsplash