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Debate: COVID‐19 and Psychological Wellbeing of Children and Adolescents in Italy

Year: 2020

Italy was the first country in Europe to deal with COVID‐19. Measures taken by the government to contain the spread of the virus were based mainly on quarantine and social distancing, with dramatic economic, social and psychological consequences. Since March, Italian children and adolescents are facing school closures, which have caused a disruption in the daily lives of millions of young people and their families. To date, despite the slow reopening, the government has decided to maintain school closures for the entire academic year, leaving the future of young people in uncertainty. There is already some evidence that quarantine and social isolation are having negative impact on children’s and adolescents’ psychological well‐being. Moreover, this situation will mainly affect those children and adolescents with pre‐existing vulnerabilities and those suffering of mental disorders. It is imperative to keep young people’s needs at the core of reconstruction plans, allowing them to return to school safely, and providing them with some strategies to heal and dealing with this stressful and potentially traumatic situation.