There is widespread expectation that the pandemic is likely to have had immediate and longer term mental health consequences, and these are likely to have impacted individuals differently. The mental health theme aims to provide the most robust answers possible to key questions related the mental health impacts of the pandemic (both related to COVID-19 infection and wider impacts of the mitigation measures).
Albeit the widespread concerns around the mental health impacts of the pandemic, much mental health research has been undertaken with online convenience samples with no pre-pandemic data. To understand the mental health impacts of the pandemic, longitudinal data from before the pandemic and electronic health records with near universal coverage are needed. Using population based cohorts with rich social, economic, health and other information over several years is also key to understanding the immediate, medium and longer-term impacts of the pandemic on mental health and related consequences. Different sources of data are also subject to different strengths and limitations; triangulating evidence across these datasources is key to providing robust evidence to inform policy and planning.
Important questions related to mental health as identified by our colleagues, stakeholders and gaps in current knowledge will be articulated. All data sources that can contribute to each question as relevant will undertake analyses conducted in a co-ordinated manner and findings will be synthesised.
A co-ordinated analysis in 12 cohorts examining the impacts of pre-pandemic mental health on healthcare, economic and housing disruptions in the first 9 months of the pandemic (https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.04.01.21254765v1)
A multi-cohort paper in four cohorts investigating how pre-pandemic mental health impacted on health related behaviours, and how these changed during the first lockdown and subsequent lifting in the summer 2020 (https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.03.26.21254424v2).
COVID Known Unknowns, mental health: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8Taj1Bvnm8
Contact: Dr Praveetha Patalay, firstname.lastname@example.org