One of the major topics in the COVID-19 broader discussions is the impact the restrictions and mitigation measures have on the public’s health. A new academic research project has been launched to collect the relevant data in 30 countries so that to allow policymakers around the world to improve their pandemic responses.


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As the COVID-19 is a new and unknown disease, there is much uncertainty about it and no readymade solutions. Across the world, governments have used different approaches for dealing with the pandemic. A team at the University of Surrey led by Dr YingFei Héliot, Lecturer in Organisational Behaviour at Surrey Business School, has partnered with the London School of Economics and Nottingham Trent University. They have set about conducting surveys among adults to investigate the impact of these various approaches on people's mental health and wellbeing.

At the end of the year, the researchers will analyse the data collected, hoping to provide a better understanding of people’s reactions to such a threat and of implications, such as health attitudes and behaviour, political standing, and responsiveness as citizens.

According to Dr Heliot, this study “will aid prevention plans for policy makers across the globe in addressing mental health and wellbeing during and after the COVID-19 crisis.” She points out that epidemics commonly cause negative psychological responses in people, eg post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and these issues do not disappear after a crisis has passed. “Processes must be put in place now and in the future to ensure the mental health and wellbeing of the global population are cared for,” she says.

Similar concerns has been aired by Peter Vermeir and colleagues in their interview to (to be published in the upcoming COVID-19 Care Continuum issue) with regard to healthcare workers. While currently the stress for those working on the front line is being compensated by their immense engagement, after the pandemic “those who worked with COVID-19 patients in the intensive care, may face mental health issues, such as PTSD, sleep disorders, mood and anxiety disorders to name a few,” they say noting that these issues will require psychological coaching and that organisation should already get prepared to deal with them.

Those wishing to participate in the survey can find the link here.

Source: University of Surrey

Image credit: LucaLorenzelli via iStock

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