SPECIAL REPORT: Building Resilience Post Pandemic

Unfortunately, the mental health of young people has been significantly impacted by the pandemic. The prevalence of symptoms of anxiety and depression has risen dramatically amongst young people and remains higher than pre‑pandemic levels. It is not an exaggeration to say that the child and adolescent mental health system is currently in crisis with general practices inundated, emergency departments flooded with demand, and medical services becoming disconnected, dispersed and diluted.

As a result, many young people are at risk of not achieving the primary demands of developmental tasks such as independence, identity formation, and attaining and maintaining peer relationships. However, by maintaining their wellbeing through regular exercise, adequate sleep and healthy nutrition, young people can be in a better position to tackle them.

As many families settle back into their pre-COVID routines, there seems to be a pervasive sense of optimism about what lies ahead. If there is a panacea to the adversity caused by the pandemic, then it is the building of resilience. In this current environment, young people need support, understanding, empathy and encouragement from caring adults. Teaching them the skills to build resilience will enable young people to thrive and develop healthy coping strategies. There are 7 integral and interrelated components that make up being resilient. These are explained in more depth in this Special Report and includes suggested strategies on how parents and carers can best facilitate them.