COVID-19: Resources for mental wellbeing

The COVID-19 pandemic is unsettling: it brings about uncertainty and forces change upon us. Therefore, evidence-based resources are being put together to help everyone manage possible negative mental health effects (such as stress and anxiety) as well as to strengthen psychosocial wellbeing.

Negative mental health effects might come from socially disruptive measures like lockdowns and quarantines, but also the fear of the disease alone and the lifestyle changes that inevitably occur during a pandemic (Brook et al., 2020Sood 2020).

Studies conducted  during  and  after past crises  (e.g., the SARS or Ebola outbreak) have shown that several negative mental health effects have impacted the population living in prevalent outbreak regions (Lee et al., 2005). In addition, survivors of the disease, and their families, tend to suffer even greater negative mental health outcomes (Mak et al., 2009James et al., 2019). Specific population groups are often more affected than others. For example, youth, elderly and people with existing learning and mental disabilities are more at risk of adverse mental health effects (Yeung and Fung, 2007Yip et al., 2010). Additionally, healthcare workers are at a higher risk for post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms (Brooks et al., 2018Lee et al., 2018), high stress levels (Brooks et al., 2018), and common mental health disorders (Brooks et al., 2018). These findings corroborate with early results from the covid-19 pandemic research (Ho et al., 2020Robinson, 2020Qiu et al., 2020).

Evidence-based tools and resources

Based on the research, several lines of advice have been published which can help to manage mental well-being during the pandemic. The freely accessible resources that we have collected here can help prevent some of the negative effects. We have divided the evidence-based tools and resources in three categories: