The COSMO cohort study shows that young people in the most deprived communities are finding it harder to access mental health support. This is a longitudinal study looking into the impacts of the pandemic on social mobility and opportunity and is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. It was led by the UCL Centre for Education Policy &Equalising Opportunities, the UCL Centre for Longitudinal Studies, and the Sutton Trust.
Commenting on the study, Daniel Kebede, General Secretary of the National Education Union, said:
“These new findings underline the importance of investing in education and in young people. The pandemic has a serious impact on the mental and emotional health of children and young people, yet the Government’s response was narrowly focussed on academic support which was often inadequate and poorly funded.
“After a decade of cuts to school and local authority budgets, mental health support for young people has been harder and harder to access, and the Government has shown no signs of changing course. As these findings show, it is once again children in the most deprived communities who are facing the greatest challenges in accessing the support they need.
“We know that school staff are seeing rising levels of need in schools and that schools are working hard to respond. The Government work towards restoring funding levels for schools and local authorities, and step up support for community mental health provision and services like CAMHS to stop the effects of this growing crisis from snowballing.”