What has changed for teenagers’ mental health and opportunities since the UK COVID-19 outbreak?

Dr Ola Demkowicz, with colleagues Dr Terry Hanley and Dr Emma Ashworth, discuss teenagers' experiences of lockdown and the impact on their mental health, and discuss policies to support them. Followed by a Q&A.

This has been a difficult time for teenagers, raising lots of difficult feelings and concerns. There is no "one size fits all" response to support young people post-lockdown, but what can we think about doing to help teenagers to return to education or join the labour market?

Dr Ola Demkowicz                                                                     

Ola Demkowicz is Lecturer in Psychology of Education in the Manchester Institute of Education. Her research interests centre on child and adolescent mental health. Ola has particular research interests in risk and resilience processes – who is at risk of experiencing mental health symptoms, and why, alongside the factors that may mitigate vulnerabilities. She is the principal investigator on the Teenagers’ Experiences of Life in Lockdown (TELL) project, which aims to understand 16- to 19-year-olds’ experiences of the UK lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic. The project places particular emphasis on this age group's wellbeing.


This event was recorded on 21 October 2020.

Further information

  • The Teenagers Experience of Life in Lockdown (TELL) Research Project Website includes a main briefing outlining all findings – including recommendations for teenagers, parents/carers, education settings and staff and mental health and wellbeing professionals – along with an advice document for teenagers, from teenagers.
  • Policy@Manchester recently published a blog from the speakers Ola, Emma and Terry discussing some of the experiences teenagers have reported during the UK lockdown, and providing recommendations to support teenagers now, and during the next stages of the pandemic and recovery.