UCL Institute of Mental Health


The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Children and Young People’s Mental Health

12 October 2022, 1:00 pm–2:15 pm

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Join us for the next Catalyst Seminar Series in Children and Young People’s Mental Health

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to





Patrizia Pezzoli

Chair: Dr. Praveetha Patalay, Professor of Population Health and Wellbeing, Centre for Longitudinal Studies and MRC Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing, UCL

Talk abstracts

Dr Rosie Mansfield Dr Rosie Mansfield will present results from a study that made use of a naturally occurring experiment within two ongoing school-based trials, with the aim of overcoming existing limitations of research (e.g., a lack of pre- pandemic, national-level data, and a comparable control group) and providing robust causal evidence on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on adolescent mental health. The COVID-19 pandemic led to increased adolescent depressive symptoms and decreased life satisfaction. However, there was no overall effect of the pandemic on externalising difficulties. By analysing two groups of adolescents assessed across two years and controlling for several relevant school and pupil characteristics, the current study was better able to isolate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on adolescent mental health from age and longer-term trends than previous studies.

Dr Lee Hudson: Dr Hudson will first provide a background to what we know from the literature about how children and young people’s mental health has been affected during the pandemic, as well as potential mechanisms. He will also present data from the Youcope study, for which he was an investigator, which sought to understand more about how young people aged 16-24 in the UK were impacted by the pandemic. This was an online study that comprised of an initial web-based 20-minute survey, followed by subsequent on-line surveys asking questions about life, health and wellbeing, and daily activities. Dr Hudson will present data on how health care was disrupted and also impact on mental health. Data is still be analysed from an app for participant’s phones and experiences of developing an app in partnership with industry during the pandemic will also be shared.

Joining instructions

Zoom Link: https://ucl.zoom.us/j/99559090768?pwd=cDFtQ3JDK3RwSnJ4YStpYkFnZmo5Zz09
Meeting ID: 995 5909 0768
Passcode: 671308

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About the Speakers

Dr Rosie Mansfield

Research Fellow at Centre for Longitudinal Studies, Social Research Institute

She is currently investigating social isolation, loneliness and wellbeing across the life course and between generations in five British birth cohorts. Rosie is also a collaborator on the Department for Education funded Education for Wellbeing Programme evaluating a range of school-based mental health interventions. She was an expert advisor on a Department for Education funded rapid evidence review exploring the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and school closure on young people's mental health. Rosie continues to investigate the impact of the pandemic on mental health and wellbeing using natural experiments and causal analysis techniques.

Dr Lee Hudson

Clinical Associate Professor at GOS UCL Institute of Child Health and Consultant Paediatrician at Great Ormond Street Hospital

He is also lead for child and family health (including core paediatrics) in Year 5 UCL Medical School. Lee’s research focuses on the interaction between physical and mental health in children and young people. During the pandemic he was part of the researchers for YouCOPE, an online study of 16-24 year olds which studied health and well-being of around 1500 young people from across the UK. He is the lead researcher for the MAPS study, which is an NIHR funded study looking at improving the care of children and young people with mental health crises admitted to paediatric wards. He also leads a study of potential early cardiovascular disease risk in adolescents with Anorexia Nervosa through changes in arteries. In his clinical work, Lee is a general paediatrician with a particular interest in medical problems in mental health disorders, especially eating children and young with eating disorders.