What should we do?
The emergence of online resources, designed to help maintain good mental health during the current crisis, is essential. As is support and treatment from mental health professionals – both now and in the coming months – to manage the anxieties, fears and distress of some people, particularly those with existing mental health problems.
However, we need to do more. Because COVID-19 is damaging our social life and the communities in which we live and thrive, we need policy and community-level responses. Informed by robust research, these responses should reduce uncertainties in people’s lives (including employment) and restore and build social connections (including online). In short, we need policy and community-level responses that promote and sustain mental health.
It is by responding appropriately and addressing these root causes that we will prevent understandable worry, sadness and distress from crystallising into more persistent anxieties, hopelessness, and depression.