June 29th, 2020
Individuals whose mental health has been, or is likely to be, disproportionately affected by COVID-19 are to be the focus of a new research project funded by a donation from multinational bank and financial services group, Santander.
A group of the country’s leading mental health experts based at the Institute of Mental Health and the University of Nottingham are set to develop a rapid research programme for post-pandemic depression and anxiety following the generous £58,000 donation.
The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health are expected to continue for many years to come, even after the infection is brought under control. The enduring adverse economic impact and societal changes required to bring COVID-19 under control, alongside the mental health effects, are disproportionately high in some groups of society.
Amongst the general public, mental health effects of COVID-19 disproportionately affect younger people with suicidal thoughts, those who are under 24 years of age, those with existing mental and physical conditions, those who live alone or with children, those with lower income, and those who are unemployed or experience job insecurity. Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people account for 70% of COVID-19 deaths among professional key workers, constituting another group that has been disproportionately affected by COVID-19.
The specific needs, challenges and opportunities that each of these groups presents must be studied to understand how their mental health and psychological wellbeing can be supported and improved. This includes NHS and social care workforce, particularly those from BAME backgrounds, in addition to those with severe health anxiety, children and young people.
This donation will secure the expertise and resources to translate technology and treatments into life-changing support. Mental health researchers face the challenge of acting now, in order to prepare for the future.
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