COVID-19 and mental health: immediate and long-term impacts

Prior to COVID-19, the world was not equipped to respond to the mental health needs of populations around the world, despite the high burden of disease, a large treatment gap, and vast economic losses due to mental ill health. Mental health was not a political priority and was chronically under-funded in
most countries.

This paper provides a summary of the (emerging) body of evidence on two topics: the impact of COVID19 on peoples’ mental health and wellbeing; and, conversely, the projected impact of mental health on the efficacy of COVID-19 prevention, treatment and control measures.

It explains why it is important to rapidly invest in mental health, both to support populations impacted by COVID-19, and to achieve successful control and eventual long-term suppression of the pandemic, ‘building back better’ societies and economies.


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    Prof. Ina Rothmann

    Prof. Ina Rothmann


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