Rural Young People’s Experiences Through the COVID-19 Pandemic: Struggles, Support and a Way Forward for Young People’s Mental Health and Well-being

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West, Carmen Teresa




The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Canada has increased attention and concern paid to young people's well-being and mental health. Narratives of isolation, exacerbated inequalities, and potential unequal recovery for young people, in particular, have been presented as a result of school closures across the country. Through these narratives, young people are framed as vulnerable, passive recipients of adult decisions and interpretations of their experiences. This research examines these narratives by conducting ethnographic fieldwork with a group of young people living in a rural Ontario town through the pandemic. This thesis presents and analyzes these young people's experiences of the pandemic related to mental health and well-being to reveal the missing nuances of adult narratives and to propose suggestions for future inclusive, accessible, rights-respecting programs for young people's mental health and well-being post-pandemic based on young people's accounts. Keywords: ethnography, COVID-19 pandemic, rural young people, mental health and well-being, children's rights


Cultural Anthropology




Carleton University

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Theses and Dissertations

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