ISPM leads NRP 78 «Covid-19» project project to investigate the impact of the pandemic on mental health

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07.08.2020 – Georgia Salanti's proposal for «A continuously updated meta-ecological study of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health, alcohol/substance abuse and violence in the general population» is now funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation.

According to a recent UN report, the vast majority of mental health needs remain unaddressed because of the lack of investment in relevant research and urges for considering mental health actions as part of a national response to COVID19. The chances of mounting a successful response to a pandemic greatly depend on the speed and accuracy of the available information, and hence collecting high-quality data on the mental health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic is an immediate priority.
In this project, Georgia Salanti and colleagues aim to provide reliable large-scale evidence about mental health during the COVID19 pandemic and examine how the changes in mental health state of the societies depend on the lockdown measures put in place worldwide.

More specifically, they will answer the questions:

  • What is the prevalence of mental health problems in the general population and subpopulations worldwide during the COVID-19 pandemic?
  • How are mental health problems associated with a) characteristics of the pandemic b) the extent and intensity of measures to contain the pandemic? And which population characteristics (e.g. sex, age, comorbidities, cultural characteristics) modify these prevalences.

The project is led by Georgia Salanti and will be embedded in the Evidence Synthesis Research Group at ISPM. Theodore Papakonstantinou and Nicola Low are part of the research team. The project is in collaboration with the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Munich.