How should mental health care be prioritized during the ongoing fight against the COVID-19 global pandemic?

Bottom Line:

During pandemics, individuals with mental health disorders are particularly vulnerable, and people considered previously mentally well are at risk of developing new psychiatric conditions. Mental health should be a priority when creating public health policies and research plans.

Reference:

Kaufman, K.R. et al. A global needs assessment in times of a global crisis: world psychiatry response to the COVID-19 pandemic. BJPsych Open (2020). https://doi.org/10.1192/bjo.2020.25

Date Published:

6 April 2020

Synopsis:

The current COVID-19 pandemic is expected to have significant impacts on the mental health of individuals, as well as psychiatric health care systems. Studies conducted during past pandemics have shown that pandemics can lead to significant levels of post-traumatic stress disorder, especially if people are required to quarantine for a period of time. As health-care resources and systems focus on creating policies and allocating resources for the direct medical effects of COVID-19, both the quantity and quality of mental health care could be negatively impacted.

Summary by: Megan Wheatley