Young People's Stakeholder Event (16+)


COVID-19 lockdown and school restarts -
Impact on emotional wellbeing and mental health

Zoom, Thursday 3rd June 2021
6pm to 8pm

Are you aged 16 or over? Would you like the opportunity to share how the COVID-19 lockdown, school closures and restarts has impacted the emotional wellbeing and mental health of you or those around you?

The Assembly Committee for Education is currently examining this important issue and we want to hear from you.  This is your chance to tell us about your personal experiences during lockdown, if or how things could have been done better, and how they could be improved now and in the future. While the Committee has heard from a range of education and health professionals in recent months about the impact of lockdown on children and young people, we are keen that you are provided with the opportunity to tell your own story and have your voice heard. We also want to recognise and commend you on the sacrifices you have made to keep everyone safe during the pandemic.  The Committee would therefore like to invite you to an informal focus group on Zoom on Thursday 3rd June 2021 at 6pm until 8pm.


If you would like to attend the event, please register now.


Further Information

Attendees will be grouped (in advance) into 4-5 Zoom breakout rooms. Each room will then be given approximately 1 and a half hours to discuss some or all of the suggested questions.

The suggested questions are set out below and are included for guidance only – attendees should of course feel free to raise any other relevant issues.  The views of all groups will then be relayed at a feedback session at the end of the event which will last around 30 minutes.

The breakout rooms will be recorded for note-taking purposes only. Committee staff will also take limited notes of the discussions. Clips from the final plenary feedback session may be published on the Committee’s social media accounts.

It is anticipated that the event will conclude by around 8pm.


The suggested questions, for guidance only, are as follows:

  1. To what extent has your emotional wellbeing and mental health been affected by the COVID-19 lockdown? What have been the consequences for you, your family and your school or other educational setting?
  2. What, if any support was available to you regarding your emotional health and wellbeing? How was any existing support affected by lockdown?
    (Personal reflection: What was the best coping or creative activity you found to help you look after your emotional wellbeing and mental health during lockdown?)
  3. What do you feel pupils need in terms of emotional wellbeing and mental health provision to support recovery now school has restarted?
    (Personal reflection: What did you miss most or find most difficult in terms of your emotional wellbeing and mental health support during lockdown?)
  4. If there are further periods of school closure, what measures should the Department of Education, the Education Authority and schools take in order to limit the impact on emotional wellbeing and mental health support?
  5. What lessons should the Department of Education, the Education Authority and schools learn from the COVID-19 lockdown in respect of emotional wellbeing and mental health support?
  6. What one thing needs to change in the longer term, following lockdown to prevent further disruptions to the delivery of emotional wellbeing and mental health support?
    (Personal reflection: What have you been most grateful for during this long lockdown? What do you most look forward to afterward?)

The above questions are provided for guidance only. If you wish to raise other relevant issues, you should feel free to do so.


The feedback from the event will help to inform a Committee report on this issue.

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