The measures taken in European countries to combat the spread of Covid-19 have a significant impact on the mental health of minors and young adults. According to an Eurofound survey carried out in April 2020, 55% of young Europeans were at risk of depression compared to 48% for the rest of the population. For young people, this represents a dramatic increase compared to the figures observed before the health crisis. Several studies also indicate a marked increase in anxiety, behavioural disorders, depressive syndromes and suicides among young adults and minors since the imposition of restrictions.
While we fully support the need for strict health measures to protect the lives of European citizens in times of pandemic, systematic attention should be paid to assessing the proportionality of such measures in terms of their impact on mental health, and especially on the mental health of children, adolescents and young adults.
The Parliamentary Assembly should study the link between the health measures taken during the pandemic and the increase in psychological disorders among children, adolescents and young adults.
The Assembly should advise States on the proportionality of restrictive measures in relation to mental health consequences.
The Assembly should remind States of the recommendations of Resolution 1608 (2008) on “Child and teenage suicide in Europe: A serious public-health issue” and urge them to provide sufficient resources for investment in suicide prevention among young adults and minors.