Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Health and Well-Being of Young Adults in British Columbia: A Report by the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control COVID-19 Young Adult Task Force.
British Columbia Centre for Disease Control.
Published: July 2021
BC Centre for Disease Control
655 West 12th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V5Z 4R4 Canada, Fax: (604) 707-2400
This report explains that while the 892,543 young adults (ages 18-30) in British Columbia, Canada, have largely been spared from experiencing serious direct effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, they have been adversely affected by indirect effects of pandemic response measures. The physical, sexual health, mental health, and substance abuse health risks in young adults before the COVID-19 pandemic are discussed, followed by a description of the incidence of COVID-19 in BC young adults and unintended consequences of public health measures. The report notes that British Columbians aged 18-30 years have been clinically diagnosed with COVID-19 at a greater rate than any other age group, and that among young adults aged 18-30 years in BC, population infection incidence was 4.2% from Jan 1, 2020 to April 25, 2021, compared to 2.2% among those over 30 years of age (95.8% higher). Findings are shared from a review of international, Canadian, and BC data concerning the consequences for economic well-being (financial strain, housing, food security), post-secondary education, mental health, physical health and access to health services, health behaviors, social connections, built environments, and the voice of young adults in public health prevention and recovery efforts. Throughout the report, quantitative and qualitative findings are included, including quotes from young adults in BC describing the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Information is heavily drawn from the BC COVID-19 Survey on Population Experience, Actions, and Knowledge (SPEAK) data, conducted among almost 400,000 BC residents in May, 2020. A total of 32 recommendations are t made for: addressing challenges to economic well-being; addressing challenges for post-secondary students; improving mental health and well-being; increasing health service access and utilization; encouraging health-promoting behaviors; improving social connectedness; increasing access to healthy build environments; promoting young adults’ voices and engagement; and initiating ongoing monitoring. 194 references.
Canada; COVID-19; Disaster response; International resource; Childrens services; Youth services; Statistics; Data analysis