COVID-19 and indigenous youth wellbeing: A review

Curr Opin Psychol. 2023 Oct:53:101659. doi: 10.1016/j.copsyc.2023.101659. Epub 2023 Aug 17.


Indigenous youth in Canada and the United States of America (USA) have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic due to the compounding of increased illness risk and legacies of colonization. This article reports the findings of a Cochrane rapid review of 23 studies that examined mental wellbeing outcomes for Indigenous youth from March 2020 to April 2023 in Canada and the USA. Reported pandemic-related mental wellbeing impacts included changes in alcohol and substance use, anxiety, depression, sleep, and suicidality. Protective factors emerged including cultural and community connection. Results suggest that mental wellbeing worsened for many Indigenous youth during COVID-19. Clinical implications are discussed alongside guidance for service provision improvements to support Indigenous youth wellbeing, from a lens of self-determination.

Keywords: COVID-19; Health; Indigenous youth; Mental wellbeing; Rapid review.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • COVID-19*
  • Humans
  • Mental Health
  • Pandemics
  • Substance-Related Disorders*
  • United States