This study examines health service indicators of stress-related presentations (relating to pain, mental illness, psychosomatic symptoms and self-harm) in adolescents of secondary school age, using Hospital Episode Statistics data for England. We examined weekly time series data for three academic years spanning the time before (2018-2019) and during the COVID-19 pandemic (2019-2020 and 2020-2021), including the first lockdown when schools were closed to the majority of pupils. For all secondary school children, weekly stress presentations dropped following school closures. However, patterns of elevated stress during school terms re-established after reopening, with girls aged 11-15 showing an overall increase compared with pre-pandemic rates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)655-657
Number of pages3
JournalThe British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science
Issue number5
Early online date25 Aug 2022
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2022


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