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Pupils in the second and fourth years of secondary school in the Netherlands felt less happy in 2021 than before the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, in 2019. This is evident from the COVID-19 Youth Health Monitor 2021, a survey conducted by the GOR Network in autumn 2021. The results of this study give reason to focus additional attention on mental health and appropriate measures.

The study shows, for example, that events during the pandemic period – such as quarantine, SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19, and illness or death of a family member or close friend – can have a major impact on the well-being of children and adolescents. Three-quarters of the pupils surveyed had experienced at least one of these events during the COVID-19 crisis, and 20% of pupils reported that they were still affected by what had happened. 

Moreover, 20% of the second-year and fourth-year pupils indicated that they had had suicidal thoughts in the year prior to the survey: 17% once in a while or occasionally and almost 5% often or very often. The latest quarterly research update involving a youth panel of young people aged 12-25 years, also conducted by the GOR Network, revealed a similar percentage.

Read the full news item about the COVID-19 Youth Health Monitor 2021 on the GGD GHOR Netherlands website (in Dutch).