The University of Oxford has created a survey investigating the impact of lockdown on young people. 

The survey, called Co-SPACE (standing for COVID-19 Supporting Parents, Adolescents, and Children in Epidemics), aims to track the mental health of children and young people by inviting parents and carers to answer questions about family life during the pandemic.

The survey also has a section where 11 to 17-year olds can contribute. The first survey will take half an hour while the following surveys (currently estimated to be one per month) are expected to be shorter. The Co-SPACE study can be completed here.

Professor Cathy Creswell of the Departments of Psychiatry and Experimental Psychology said: “research has provided valuable information about how parents and carers can support their children’s mental health in general. However, at this point, we know very little about what might be most effective in the current context of COVID-19.

“We hope to have more than 10,000 parents and carers across the UK complete the new online survey. Their responses will help us really understand how families are coping and what support could make all the difference to children, young people and their families at this time”.

The research will be led by the University of Oxford and supported by the Oxford and Thames Valley NIHR Applied Research Consortium, the NIHR Oxford Health Biomedical Research Centre and the UKRI Emerging Minds Network Plus.

This has been launched at the same time as the Oxfordshire Online Mental Health and Wellbeing Survey 2020, conducted in partnership with Oxford University’s researchers. While this survey has been conducted in previous years, alterations have been made to ensure its relevance to the current situation for young people.

One of the lead researchers on the survey, Associate Professor Mina Fazel, said this study “will give us a unique opportunity to understand how young people are managing during lockdown, helping us to ensure that we are as prepared as possible to support their mental health needs now and when schools formally open again”.

However, while the Oxfordshire Online Mental Health and Wellbeing Survey aims to tailor mental health services and resources in local schools (specifically considering the impact of Covid-19), the Co-SPACE study is nationwide. Its focus is to share data with partner organisations to create effective support for children and their families.