Skip to main content

27 April 2020

COPE Study: Investigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health and well-being

The Coronavirus Outbreak Psychological Experiences (COPE) Study aims to investigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on mental health and well-being. The study is inviting people who are aged 16 and above and live in the UK to take part in a one-off online survey.

COPE Study: Investigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health and well-being

Run by the NIHR Maudsley BRC Patient and Carer Involvement and Engagement (PCIE) theme, the researchers are investigating whether public health measures in response to the coronavirus pandemic, such as social distancing and self-isolation, have differential effects on mental health. The aim is to understand whether there are similarities and differences in the effect of the pandemic on people with and without lived experience of mental health problems, as well as carers for individuals who experience mental health difficulties. They are particularly interested in the types of coping strategies people are adopting and how they are maintaining their well-being during this time.

There is an urgent unmet need for research looking at the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on mental health, especially those who have an existing mental health problem. COPE is about how and how well people are coping in the pandemic. This information is really useful to change the way that health care staff support people, particularly those with a pre-existing mental health problem.

Professor Dame Til Wykes, Principal Investigator and Vice Dean Psychology and Systems Sciences, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN)

Dr Sara Simblett, Co-Investigator and Clinical Psychology Research Fellow at the IoPPN, added: “The NIHR Maudsley BRC has a number of PPI advisory groups, as well as service user researchers. We have therefore been uniquely placed to design a survey that is informed by the lived experience of service users and carers. The findings will improve our understanding of how best to support mental health service users and carers, and inform NHS and government strategy on managing the current COVID-19 pandemic.”

This study is in collaboration with The McPin Foundation, a mental health research charity. The survey will begin by asking participants some basic demographic information, followed by questions exploring how the pandemic has affected their environment. The survey will then investigate the effect of social distancing and self-isolation on well-being, and ask questions about factors that might be helping people cope during this time. It will take approximately 20 minutes to complete.

To take part in the COPE Study please visit the website here or scan the QR code in the image above.

For any questions, please contact Dr Sara Simblett at

This article was originally published on the NIHR Maudsley BRC website on 22 April 2020.