Lockdown affected young people’s mental health, many older people felt good

In this period, the adults actually got better. Three quarters experienced a (very) good general health. The researchers believe that it is easier for adults to continue with their lives and that it is less important to have contact with peers.

It was the third time that an inventory was made among young people of health problems directly or indirectly related to corona as part of that research. In the first two rounds, in September/October and December last year, the number of young people who indicated they were seriously thinking about ending their lives was much lower. At the first investigation it was 7.6 percent, at the second about 8.5 percent.

Dückers considers the last lockdown, which went into effect in December, as the cause of the enormous increase. “You also see it in international research: the period in which you research this is very important. We did this research just before Christmas, when new measures came into effect. There was little perspective, little contact with others. You can see that coming back strongly. in the numbers. The first survey was in September, just after the summer. If you were to do the survey now, I expect the number of young people who are thinking about suicide would also be much lower.”

Increased risk

Previous research has shown that the suicide rate among young people between the ages of 20 and 30 had increased by 15 percent throughout 2021. These figures came from the Current Dutch Suicide Registration Committee (CANS). That committee was established in 2020 to determine whether the corona crisis would lead to more suicides.

The CANS said that suicide rarely has one cause, but is the result of an accumulation of factors. Statistics Netherlands was also careful with its interpretation of the figures, because the statistics fluctuated every year.

According to the GOR Network, the young people with suicidal thoughts were mainly those who were already lonely or had other mental health problems. Young people who experienced direct consequences of corona also more often had suicidal thoughts. This involved, for example, young people who themselves ended up in hospital because of a corona infection or young people who lost a loved one to corona.

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