An MSP has highlighted concerns about the impact the pandemic is having on the mental health of young people.
Highlands and Islands MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston suggested the prolonged restrictions, absence from school and limits on social activity were leaving many feeling isolated from friends and family, with increased use of social media sometimes exacerbating the problem.
The Scottish Conservative MSP was responding to research conducted by the Mental Health Foundation and Swansea University which found more than a quarter of teenagers were showing symptoms and depression or anxiety.
Jamie Halcro Johnston said: “The lockdowns, and other restrictions on our lives, have had a real impact on all of us. However, there is now growing concern at the impact of the pandemic on the mental health of our young people, particularly teenagers, many of whom have been left feeling isolated from their friends and the support they provide."
“That has led some to rely more heavily on social media for support, with evidence that this can - certainly in some cases - have a negative effect, exacerbating existing problems of isolation and anxiety."
“As we come out of the pandemic, we must do everything possible to support those who have experienced difficulties, as well as ensuring that our schools and support agencies are resourced to help those who need it, including other family members."
“Depression, if it is ignored or suppressed, can have long-lasting impacts on young people. Getting this right represents a vital investment in their future.”