COVID-19 is a generation-defining moment for young people which will have a disproportionate, long-term impact on young people’s lives. We’ve pulled together this alphabetical (A-Z) list of resources and information to support the myriad of ways that COVID-19 impacts young people.

If you are requiring support for basic essentials such as food, we strongly recommend you visit your your local Emergency Relief and Mutual Aid Centres providing support to people in need.

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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Young People

Due to social isolation restrictions many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people have been feeling culturally, spiritually and socially disconnected from elders, community and country.  

Many urban Indigenous households have large groups of people living together, making it difficult to self-isolate. In many homes’ families have both the young and elderly living together and are at increased risk of transmission, causing stress for many families across Victoria.      

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s health and wellbeing has also been impacted with the re-introduction of the trauma from police brutality and Aboriginal deaths in custody here in Australia with the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement across the globe.

Stay connected to culture:  

Centrelink and Income Support Payments

With disproportionate job losses across sectors which employ young people, it is important for young people can access income support payments such as JobSeeker, JobKeeper, Youth Allowance and Rent Assistance.

Useful links and resources:

Child Safety online

Every young person needs to be valued, supported and connected to their community during a pandemic. With increased social isolation, potential disengagement from education and unemployment due to COVID-19, youth workers and organisations who support young people matter now more than ever.

We acknowledge that organisations and services who support young people have transitioned rapidly to deliver services online.

Useful links and resources:

Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Communities

Young people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities are navigating changes in their own lives, while also translating and supporting their broader communities with being up to date with health advice and policy changes.

Useful links and resources:

Digital Youth Work

COVID-19 has seen organisations adapt and change rapidly towards digital youth work to reduce the risk of transmission. This means conducting more meetings, consultations and case visits over the phone, Skype or Zoom.

It has also been an opportunity for youth services and organisations to engage young people who haven’t been able to physically attend events or consultations due to transport or access needs.

Useful links and resources:

Disabled Young People

As restrictions gradually ease, it will still be unsafe for many disabled young people to leave the house, particularly people who are immunosuppressed or have lung conditions.

Reduced access to support services will prevent some disabled young people from leaving their home.

Disabled young people have also been left out on increases to income support, so the Disability Support Pension is now $170 less per fortnight than what is currently being provided to non-disabled people.

Useful links and resources:

Education

With the rapid transition to online learning over the last two months, education providers are starting to transition back to face-to-face delivery.

COVID-19 has particularly impacted students don’t have access to reliable internet or digital technology. Online learning has also proved a challenging adjustment away from routine, while for some students, it has helped them improve.

Useful links and resources:

Employment Rights

Tens of thousands of young people have lost their jobs, particularly across the hospitality, retail, arts and recreation sectors. A report by the Grattan Institute estimates that at least 40% of working employed young people aged 15-19 and 30% of working young people aged 20-25 will be unemployed from the pandemic.

Young people who are employed by businesses which have signed onto JobKeeper should know what their rights are about how the scheme works. And young people employed by businesses which remain open should know what their rights should be around their working conditions.

Useful links and resources:

Family Violence

COVID-19 has heightened the risk of family violence for young people. Family violence is a significant impact for young people during the COVID-19 pandemic who live in a highly stressed and unstable home. Isolation and restrictions have placed extra strain on family tensions, with more time together.

COVID-19 has seen up-and-down reporting around a spike in reports of family violence incidents, but an increase in perpetrators calling services seeking help for behaviour change and mental health support.

Useful links and resources:

Health and Sexual Health

COVID-19 has caused disruption and changes to how health and sexual health services are delivered. Telehealth services have rapidly risen in availability, meaning you can now attend appointments over a phone or video call. While sexual health checks continue, tracking of STI and HIV cases has stopped to support efforts for COVID-19.

The Victorian Government has also established pop-up centres for testing have also been established if you want to be tested and checked for COVID-19.

Useful links and resources:

Housing and Homelessness

86% of young people under 25 who live out of home rent. With rising youth unemployment and restrictions due to COVID-19, many young people have either temporarily moved back home to live with parents because they simply can’t afford rent, or asked for a decrease in rent during the pandemic.

We welcome the announcement of the Rent Relief Grants, and the ban on evictions for six months.

Useful links and resources:

International Students

1 in 7 young Victorians are international students and we recognise how important they are in making Victoria a vibrant, global and diverse state. Most international students do not qualify for any assistance, and are continuing to pay rent and course fees, despite job losses and restrictions.

The $45m International Student Emergency Relief Fund will provide payments up to $1,100 for students facing financial hardship.

Useful links and resources:

Managing Isolation

With increased social isolation during restrictions, many young people and workers are feeling disconnected from family, friends and other support networks in the community.

Social isolation was the number 1 concern for young people from YACVic’s survey

Useful links and resources:

Mental Health

COVID-19 is putting further pressure on young people’s mental health

With 75% of all mental ill-health symptoms present before 25, young people are being adversely affected by the stress and uncertainty brought on by COVID-19.

Unemployment, education, housing affordability on top of climate anxiety are placing young people in stress about what the future holds for them. Young people need proper support from mental health services during this unprecedented and overwhelming time.

Useful links and resources:

Reliable Information

There has been a rise of conspiracy theories and misinformation being spread about COVID-19, including debunked claims around COVID-19 being caused by 5G, and vitamin C and sunlight being ‘miracle’ cures.

Please make sure you listen and follow the advice of health experts and government.

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Technology and Internet Access

The importance of digital technologies for young people has become increasingly evident under the new restrictions brought on by COVID-19, with a massive digital divide revealed in Victoria.

According to VicHealth, 1 in 4 households in rural Victoria and 1 in 5 households in regional Victoria have no internet access, compared with 1 in 10 in metro areas, and could be left behind.

Young people from lower socioeconomic backgrounds are adversely affected because they either don’t have internet access, or there aren’t enough devices at home for the whole family to study and work at the same time.

Useful links and resources: