What do we know about how to support mental health and wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic from past infectious disease epidemics?

QURESH, Onaiza
SCHERER, Nathaniel
Publication Date 
July 2020
4 pp

The question and the problem:

Symptoms of mental ill-health are common during widespread outbreak of an infectious disease, with high rates of depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) reported during recent epidemics, such as the recent Ebola crises and SARS-CoV-1. Elevated symptoms of mental ill-health are not limited to patients only, and are seen in healthcare workers, family members and indeed more widely across the general population. Early evidence coming from the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates high rates of mental ill-health and mental health service provision is needed. This evidence brief summarises evidence on mental health support during COVID-19 and other recent pandemics, informing policy and practice during this crisis.

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