COVID-19 Recovery Scenarios for Young People: Health and Well-being

Authors: Peter Kelly, Seth Brown & James Goring

The COVID-19 pandemic is triggering profound crises around the world, and the social, economic and political fallout from these crises is likely to be longer and deeper than any recession for several generations. The impact will be significant, and long-term for young people – in terms of their health and well-being, education and training, and employment pathways.

The COVID-19 Recovery Scenarios for Young People in Melbourne’s Inner North project is a partnership between the Inner Northern Youth Employment Taskforce, the Inner Northern LLEN and the UNESCO UNEVOC Centre @ RMIT University. 

Our aim is to identify recovery scenarios for young people in the Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Darebin, Moreland and Yarra. So far the project has conducted an online survey, stakeholder interviews, and interviews with young people to help to develop the scenarios.

The series of lockdowns that Melbourne has experienced since March 2020 have produced a range of social, economic and policy crises that have had a particular impact on young people – most notably in terms of massive disruptions to schooling, education and training, enforced periods of ‘social distancing’ and isolation from family and friends, and severe impacts to the businesses and labour markets that mostly employ young people.

Around the world, across Australia and Victoria, and in metropolitan Melbourne and Melbourne’s inner north, these disruptions and crises have posed significant health and well-being challenges for different groups of young people. 

In this video we present a preliminary account of how young people from these suburbs are experiencing these current health and well-being challenges, and their hopes for the future.

In this video stakeholders from schools, local government, businesses and youth service providers and advocacy organisations provide their insights on these challenges that young people are currently dealing with, and will likely deal with. They describe challenges and concerns such as: hope, self, suicide, mental health services, increased demand on schools, wellbeing resources, listening to young peoples voices, stress, anxiety and uncertainty, the purposes of education and schooling, rising youth unemployment, and recovery.

These voices reveal the challenges and opportunities related to the ways in which we engage the range of these health and well-being challenges, and imagine the influences these challenges have on young people’s futures and their education, training and employment pathways – and their sense of belonging in families, neighbourhoods and communities.

These are generational impacts that will likely echo for a number of years to come. As the project develops we will continue to examine what the future holds for young people’s health and well-being in Melbourne’s inner north and elsewhere?

Featured Image Image credit


By Peter Kelly

I am a Professor of Education at Deakin University.

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