Cohort studies identified worsening mental health outcomes, including depression, anxiety, scores on the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), and other subjective mental health measures.
Cross-sectional studies reported post-pandemic prevalence rates of 7%-44% for depression, 6%-47.5% for anxiety, and 3%-22% for PTSD. Worsening sleep quality and increased frequency of substance use were also reported. Effects on self-harm and suicidality are inconclusive.
Risk factors for worsening mental health included identifying as female, older age or higher school grade, and increased use of technology or social media. Exercise was found to be protective.
Sulaiman, F; Hamid, E; Muhajarine, N; Dalidowicz, M; Miller, L. How has COVID-19 and the public health response to COVID-19 impacted mental health outcomes on children 5 to 18 years (school-age)? 2021 Jun 09, Document no.: PH021701 RR. In: COVID-19 Rapid Evidence Reviews [Internet]. SK: SK COVID Evidence Support Team, c2021. 18 p. (CEST rapid review report).