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Covid-19 having a “profound effect” on mental health say Oxford experts

Experts from the Oxford Internet Institute say that mental health research must be a priority in response to the outbreak.

A paper published today by experts including the Oxford Internet Institute’s Professor Andrew Prybylski and David Sutcliffe says that there’s an urgent need to tackle the harmful, and lasting mental health impacts of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Published in The Lancet Psychiatry, the paper warns of the “profound” and “pervasive impact” on global mental now and in the future. 

It calls for more widespread mental health monitoring and better ways to protect against and treat mental ill health.

Professor Emily Holmes from the Department of Psychology, Uppsala University in Sweden, who was also an author of the paper said: “We are all dealing with unprecedented uncertainty and major changes to the way we live our lives as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Our surveys show these changes are already having a considerable impact on our mental health. 

Governments must find evidence-based ways to boost the resilience of our societies and find ways to treat those with mental ill health remotely to come out of this pandemic in good mental health. 

Front line medical staff and vulnerable groups such as the elderly and those with serious mental health conditions must be prioritised for rapid mental health support.”

The full paper - Multidisciplinary research priorities for the COVID-19 pandemic: a call for action for mental health science can be read here.

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