Data from around the world show that the pandemic had negative psychological effects on the general population, especially on young people. Feelings of fear, anxiety, anger, sadness, and crushing are largely felt by young people around the world because of the coronavirus.
As governments had to deal with the virus by imposing measures such as physical distancing, quarantine and school closures, the lives of young people have been severely affected.
According to the research “Covid-19 in Greece: Psychological Imprint” of the University of West Attica, the research data show that almost all people in Greece felt a significant change in their daily lives. In particular, five out of ten people in Greece felt a “too much” big change and four out of ten people felt a “big” change in their daily lives due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects such as quarantine and restrictions on their social and professional obligations.
Restrictions due to the pandemic such as teleworking, school closures, etc. gave more (24%) people the opportunity to improve their contact with relatives and friends and in fewer (15%) made it worse. The improvement is more pronounced in young people up to 18 years old who due to the suspension of face-to-face lessons stayed at home. Young people whose relationships with their close environment improved were more than twice as many as those who deteriorated (27.3% vs. 12.9%).
It is normal for adolescents and young adults to experience intense feelings of fear, anxiety, stress, and anger. Many may be afraid for their own health as well as that of their loved ones.
We must show understanding and empathy, thus urging teenagers and young adults not to be ashamed and to share all those emotions that the pandemic has created. We talk to them and point out that in our country, unlike other countries, we are fortunate to have COVID-19 vaccines at our disposal as well as a health system that is sufficiently adequate to deal with the situation. In addition, we give them space to be left alone if they wish, providing opportunities for autonomy.
All Social Cooperatives in Greece work intensively for the psychological support of young and vulnerable groups. During the months of quarantine, the professional consultants supported beneficiaries online or by phone.