UCL Events


VIRTUAL EVENT: Mental Health and the Pandemic: Past, Present and Future!

19 May 2020, 1:00 pm–1:45 pm

A drawing of a person's head with different coloured lines coming together to create the shape of a brain.

To coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week 2020, in this Lunch Hour Lecture we will hear from Professor Anthony David, Director at UCL Mental Health Institute.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Sanaa Al-Busaidy


Virtual event

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About the lecture:

We are in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and cannot know quite what effects it will have on physical and mental health. Mankind has suffered pandemics before, for example the ‘Spanish Flu’ pandemic of 1918 - perhaps the worst in modern times. More recently coronaviruses have caused Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome epidemics in Asia and the Middle East. Concern regarding mental health is prominent in the current pandemic and there is already considerable effort being made to measure and mitigate mental disorders. In this lecture I will try and draw some lessons from previous pandemics. I will look specifically at suicide and summarise work from a recent systematic review which highlights anxiety, depression and stress disorders following coronavirus infections. I will also show how modern epidemiological research and social media are helping us monitor mental health relevant outcomes in the population.  On the basis of this there are grounds for both optimism and pessimism regarding the future mental health burden of COVID-19.

About the Speaker

Anthony David

Director at Institute of Mental Health, UCL

Appointed Director of the new Institute of Mental Health at UCL in 2018. Prior to this Anthony was Vice Dean at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, KCL. He qualified in Medicine from Glasgow University and trained in psychiatry at the Maudsley Hospital, London and is an academic and practising clinician with an interest in neuropsychiatry and brain imaging. Anthony has published around 600 scientific papers and co-edited several books including 'Insight and Psychosis' (OUP: 2nd Ed 2004); and 'The Self in Neuroscience and Psychiatry' (CUP: 2003). His forthcoming book "Into the Abyss" (Oneworld Publications) is a collection of neuropsychiatric cases histories.