40% OF GIRLS IN UK FEEL MENTAL HEALTH HAS WORSENED IN LOCKDOWN, STUDY FINDS
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Around 40 per cent of girls in the UK feel their mental health has worsened since lockdown was established, a study has found.
New research published by global children’s charity Plan International UK has highlighted the significant impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on girls across the country.
After surveying more than 1,000 girls aged between 14 and 21 years old in April 2020, the organisation concluded that barriers to girls’ rights have been “exacerbated” by the Covid-19 crisis in several ways.
Of the respondents, four in 10 said their mental health has declined since lockdown was announced on Monday 23 March.
Among these participants, 41 per cent said their mental health felt worse due to not being able to attend school, 43 per cent said they felt they don’t have a purpose and 30 per cent worried about not being able to sit their exams.
Furthermore, 37 per cent of the girls who reported their mental health worsening said this was due to social media, with one in four stating they have experienced at least one form of abuse, bullying or sexual harassment online during the time period.
In addition to detrimental impact on girls’ mental health, the study conducted by Plan International UK found that lockdown has affected accessibility to period products.
According to the charity’s findings, almost a third of girls have struggled to either afford or access sanitary products while in lockdown.
Furthermore, one in 10 girls and young women said they have not been able to access their usual form of contraception.