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Together in spirit: Young people in isolation

Social distancing is a difficult adjustment and is negatively impacting mental health, particularly in young people. The COVID-19 Response Fund is supporting a project led by Rebecca Meiksin, a Research Fellow in Social Science at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), implementing research insight to raise awareness of the challenges and stresses of social distancing. 

By collecting video content from those aged 18-27, the project will see the creation of a short film with a broad range of experiences from young people, showing a sense of togetherness to motivate others to keep social distancing practices and reduce the risk of overwhelming the healthcare system. 

The “Together in Spirit” campaign is targeted at young people in the UK. A recent survey found that while 15% of adults were finding it difficult to cope with social distancing measures, this figure rose to 40% among young people. 

Rebecca Meiksin says: 

“We know that all of us are facing new challenges and stress as a result of the social distancing measures. We thought that hearing what others are going through and how they are dealing with it would help us stay motivated and keep our spirits up through this difficult time. 

In short, we believe that we all have stories, and we all need to hear them. Now more than ever.” 

Rebecca Meiksin, MPH, Research Fellow in Social Sciences

The campaign will see the creation of a short film telling young people’s stories of social distancing. The aim is to support the motivation and self-confidence to comply with social distancing measures required to control the spread of COVID-19.  

Drawing on social cognitive theory, the key messages of the campaign will be portrayed though user-generated content submitted through an open call for submissions. This will explore what is keeping motivation high, how people are connecting with loved ones, tackling challenges and having fun. 

LSHTM is working with Brickwall, a creative agency with a long track record of working with Public Health England and others to create inspiring and honest content that drives positive change.  

Your support is helping LSHTM respond quickly and will have a lasting impact. Philanthropic support is making it possible to address the challenges we face in the fight against COVID-19. Thanks to your support, the Together in Spirit campaign will help motivate young people to comply with social distancing measures and protect the health of many vulnerable individuals. 

To find out how you can help in the fight against coronavirus, visit our COVID-19 Response Fund page, or to discuss wider opportunities about philanthropic support in crises, please contact: 

Valerie Boulet 
Director of Development and Alumni Relations 
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine 
Email: valerie.boulet@lshtm.ac.uk 
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7927 2630 

Together in spirit social distancing story

 Visit www.socialdistancingstory.co.uk to share your story by Tuesday 19 May.