The mental health impact of COVID-19

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Micah DJ Peters
Marsha Bennett


Mental health, COVID-19, aged care, wellbeing


The impact of COVID-19 has and will be wide-ranging, with implications for people’s health and wellbeing way beyond the direct effects of an infectious respiratory illness. Due to the very real threat of the virus to the health of individuals, government responses to gain control and slow the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in order to protect health care sector capacity has resulted in virtually unprecedented limitations on people’s personal, social, and working lives as well as widespread and lasting economic impacts. Many countries already faced significant challenges related to mental ill health prior to the pandemic. COVID-19 has brought with it new threats to the mental health and wellbeing of people with pre-exiting mental ill health, the health care, maternity care, and aged care workforces, and people in the community with no prior experience or risk factors for mental ill health. Mental health is and will be a pressing issue for a vast number of people across many segments of society and addressing it will take action and cooperation across many contexts and between diverse groups. Now more than ever we need to work collaboratively to help one another – especially our most vulnerable community members who often lack the voice, resources, and platforms to help themselves.

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