44% of young people in Year 13 (aged between 17 and 18) were classified as experiencing high psychological distress, the same proportion as in wave 1 of the COSMO study (where participants were aged 16 to 17).
A quarter of young people had sought some form of mental health support over the previous 12 months. Of those, 35% said they are either on a waiting list or have not received some of the support they have sought.
Those in the most deprived parts of the country were 11 percentage points more likely to say they are still waiting or have not received the support they applied for, at 39% compared to 28% of those in the most affluent areas. Looking at CAMHS and other specialist services specifically, those in the most deprived areas were more than twice as likely to have not received support as the most affluent.
When looking at differences by sexual orientation, LGBQ+ young people were more likely to indicate signs of poor mental health. For instance, 47% of bisexual young people, 37% of gay/lesbian young people, and 44% of those with other sexualities reported having self-harmed, compared to 9% of heterosexuals.
Just over a third (33%) of young people said that the COVID-19 pandemic was still having a negative impact on their education. 31% say it was still negatively affecting their mental wellbeing.
Those who reported having long COVID were more likely to be classed as experiencing high psychological distress (58%) compared to those who have never had long COVID (43%) or COVID at all (37%). 13% of young people said they had or have now recovered from long COVID – 3% say they had long COVID that severely limited daily life.
17% of young people reported having a long-term illness that limits their daily activity.
Just under 1 in 5 (18%) young people said they have not yet had the COVID-19 vaccination. This was highest in the most deprived areas of the country (25%, compared to 6% of those in the most affluent areas).