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COVID-19 and Debt: The impact on children’s mental health

05 Feb COVID-19 and Debt: The impact on children’s mental health

A new study by Lowell has revealed the state of our children’s mental health and anxiety levels in the UK.

Lowell surveyed 1500 children aged between the ages of 6 and 16 to reveal how poverty and the current pandemic is impacting their mental health.

The study revealed that 31% of children in the UK are currently suffering with anxiety, stating that they are constantly worried.

When asked for their top concerns and worries 57% stated schoolwork, whilst an alarming amount stated that they worry about the amount of money their parents/carers have (23%) and the amount of food their parents/careers can afford (15%).

The role poverty is playing on our children’s mental health

Children from less affluent backgrounds are at risk of suffering long-term mental health and anxiety issues.

With foodbanks increasing in the UK, and the Trussell Trust providing a record high of 1.9m food bank parcels between April 2019 and March 20201, the study by Lowell reveals that a staggering 45% of children who live in households that have used a food bank within the last 12 months are suffering with anxiety.

When asked for the reason behind their anxiety the children revealed:

Reason the children worry

% of children from a household that has used a foodbank within the past 12 months

The amount of food my parents can afford


The amount of money my parents have


My family


My friends being okay


Things that are happening in the world




The role COVID-19 is playing on our children’s mental health

The study by Lowell asked teenagers how COVID-19 was impacting them.

73% of teenagers stated that the pandemic had caused them to worry more, with education and socialising being the main drivers behind the extra concern.

With the UK government recently announcing2 that school tests are to be cancelled due to the pandemic, and a calculated grade process to be implemented instead, the study by Lowell reveals the impact this has had on the students’ mental health.

60% of teenagers are feeling anxious about their schoolwork due to the pandemic, with 55% worrying about their grades from school tests.

What maybe more alarming is that 35% of teenagers are worried about their mental health due to the restrictions put in place for COVID-19

Commenting on the findings, John Pears, Lowell UK Managing Director said:

“During this time of global instability, many people are anxious about a number of things.

As a parent myself, I find it very upsetting to think that children are worrying about anything, let alone family finances.