AUTHOR: Ministry of Youth Development | Point and Associates
This 2021 report explores Rainbow young peoples’ (16-24 year-olds) experiences of COVID-19 during alert level 3 and 4 lockdowns and the pandemic generally. Data was collected via an online survey (482 responses), a roundtable of Rainbow organisations, interviews, and a focus group.
Key findings included
- Rainbow young people experience alarming levels of mental distress and COVID-19 has intensified this.
- Some young people were not safe in their bubbles.
- Most respondents had problems accessing what they needed during alert level three and four lockdowns.
- Lack of meaningful connections, anxiety over COVID-19, and lack of access to mental health services significantly impacted on young people’s wellbeing during lockdown.
- The most significant impacts around high levels of depression, anxiety, loneliness, and isolation remained the same for young people in and out of lockdowns.
Looking toward the future:
- Access to mental health support, financial security, and feeling accepted and celebrated will help young people to live a good life now, and in the future.
- Young people in LGBTQIA+ communities have big plans for the next two to three years, including more training and education, looking for a job or heading overseas.
- LGBTQIA+ specific support , Government action on Rainbow inequalities, Emergency Housing and sustained funding can all help support LGBTQIA+ communities during the pandemic and into the future.