Prof. Marit Sijbrandij, scientific coordinator of RESPOND, participated in a debate at the European Research & Innovation Days organized by the EU on 23 June, 2021.
During her presentation, Prof. Sijbrandij warned that mental health problems in the population are likely to increase even after the pandemic is contained. Mental health symptoms (such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD) are higher when lockdowns are stricter, but that does not mean that these problems will be solved after easing the restrictions. Data from previous crises tells us that mental health problems increase in the period following the crisis.
The following groups have been identified as being vulnerable to mental health distress due to the pandemic: young people, adolescents, students, female healthcare workers, minorities, migrants, and COVID-19 patients. There is also a mental health treatment gap for them, especially during the pandemic. And this is in addition to a general mental health treatment gap that already existed: before the COVID-19 crisis, only a minority of people with mental health symptoms were receiving formal treatment.
Accessible, remotely delivered psychological interventions, such as DWM and PM+ which will be used in RESPOND, can help to reduce the treatment gap.
To watch the presentation, please click on the following link: https://youtu.be/ipWoNfnpPf0?t=527.