Young people and loneliness during the pandemic

Published on April 2021

Research from The Mix and You Gov shows an increase of young people suffering from loneliness and a lack of physical contact

Research conducted by The Mix has shown that two in five (39%) of 16–25-year-olds felt always or often lonely in the past 12 months, with an additional 41% feeling lonely sometimes.

Although loneliness is an issue that many young people were experiencing before lockdown, it’s clear that things have got worse, as 77% of young people agree that the pandemic has made them feel lonelier.

Almost two thirds (60%) of young people who said they had felt lonely in the past 12 months were missing physical contact with other people, an experience also known as skin hunger. Studies have shown that touch makes you feel calmer and happier so it’s unsurprising that being deprived of this would have such a huge impact on our mental health.

Generally, there is a stigma around admitting to feeling lonely, research revealed that 62% of all young people believe that this is the case. This stigma is particularly rife among males, with 65% agreeing that there is a stigma around admitting to feelings of loneliness compared to 59% of females.

The research has also shown that feelings of loneliness can lead to damaging behaviours in young people, with 42% feeling the urge to drink alcohol, 19% feeling the urge to self-harm and 16% feeling the urge to take drugs.

To find out more, read our white paper: