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Crisis and mental life: Implications for Covid-19

What can we learn from previous crises?

There has been widespread discussion of the possible impact of Covid-19 on mental health, but little comparison with previous crises. The report reviews the effects on mental health and well‑being of crises caused by disasters, war and conflict, economic collapse, and pandemics. 

For each crisis topics, two case studies are selected to explore in detail, making eight case studies in all: the Chernobyl nuclear explosion, the World Trade center attack, civil wars in Syria and Nepal, economic collapse in the USSR, the global banking crisis, and the previous pandemics of Spanish flu, and Ebola. For all cases, literature has been sourced to explore the mental health outcomes of these crises, the predictors for these outcomes, and what mental health service response there was, if any. Then using the findings from these case studies, potential lessons for the Covid-19 pandemic are drawn.

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Read the Report

The report explores the impact of previous crises on mental health, drawing possible lessons for post-pandemic society.