Project Plan

OBJECTIVES

The RESPOND (Preparedness of health systems to reduce mental health and psychosocial concerns resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic) consortium aims to help prepare the European mental health care system for future pandemics by:

Objective 1

Identifying groups that are at risk of poor mental health and wellbeing related to the COVID-19 pandemic and epidemic control decisions and identifying factors that influence resilience.

Objective 2

Examining and comparing individuals’ use of long-term health and mental health services across different European countries, such as Sweden, Italy, and Spain, which all have different approaches to controlling the pandemic.

Objective 3

Performing rapid and recurring holistic assessments of COVID-19 related policies and measures across Europe with the goal of protecting health workers and other groups at high risk for pandemic-related distress.

Objective 4

Examining the necessary conditions for successful implementation and expansion of remote-delivered stepped care using existing, scalable WHO programmes to benefit health workers and other groups at high risk for pandemic-related distress.

Objective 5

Providing regional and national health care authorities with transferable evidence-based practices, methodologies, and guidance in order to expand support measures for health workers and other groups at high risk for pandemic-related distress.

RESPOND’s vision is for public health systems to be well-prepared for future pandemics with the goal of fostering resilience and wellbeing and mitigating mental health inequalities across affected populations

WORK PACKAGES

The RESPOND project is organised in seven Work Packages. The Work Packages are small sub-projects which together make up the entire project. The project commenced in December 2020 and will run for three years, ending in November 2023.

WP1: Management and overall coordination

Objectives:

  1. To efficiently manage and coordinate RESPOND so that objectives in the other WPs are achieved.
  2. To communicate with and report to the European Commission.
  3. To oversee ethics approval and safe data management across all WPs.

WP leader: VU Amsterdam

WP2: Identifying risk and resilience groups

Objectives:

Short-term impacts (Study 1):

  1. Rapid identification of risk groups likely to experience high levels of mental health problems, reduced wellbeing, and low resilience in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and epidemic control decisions within vulnerable groups and the general population.
  2. To identify non-intended consequences of the epidemic control decisions, such as increases in loneliness, substance use, and technology consumption.
  3. To examine the impact of COVID-19 related mental health problems on adherence to the restrictions related to staying home.

Long-term impacts (Study 2):

  1. To identify the long-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and epidemic control measures on the mental health and wellbeing of the general population and vulnerable groups.
  2. To examine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and epidemic control measures on the demand for (mental) health services.
  3. To identify the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and epidemic control measures on socio-economic and ethnic inequalities with regard to mental health.

 

WP leader: INSERM

WP3: Health system preparedness

Objectives:

  1. To analyse and compare the specific policies and measures of different countries and regions across Europe to address the COVID-19 pandemic, with a particular focus on how systems have responded to the need to protect the resilience, wellbeing and mental health of groups at particularly high risk, including health workers providing short-term care, long-term care facility staff, other vulnerable groups, as well as the general population.
  2. To conduct ongoing mental health impact assessments of country responses to COVID-19 to assess the extent to which resilience, mental health, and wellbeing have been integrated into policy responses, what impact they have had on inequalities on mental health as well as on the immediate and longer-term socio-economic costs of poor mental health for health workers and long-term care facility staff, other vulnerable groups, as well as the general population.
  3. To examine how country responses to the mental health impacts of COVID-19 have been influenced by health system preparedness, including surveillance, public health, and mental health infrastructure, availability of local and international scientific advice, and socio-economic, cultural and political factors.
  4. To explore how the scaling up of remote-delivered stepped care of WHO interventions supports health system responsiveness to the mental healthcare needs of the population during the COVID-19 pandemic, and vulnerable groups in particular.

WP leader: London School of Economics and Political Science

WP4: Health and care workers

Objectives

  1. To assess the needs of stakeholders and end-users for the implementation and scaling up of the stepped-care DWM/PM+ programmes for health workers in Spain and care workers in Belgium to improve the resilience, wellbeing, mental health, and work-functioning of staff and mitigate health inequalities during and after pandemics.
  2. To evaluate the implementation and effectiveness of the stepped-care DWM/PM+ programmes in terms of health worker outcomes in Spain (e.g., resilience, mental health outcomes, wellbeing, work performance outcomes, health inequalities, acceptability, adoption, appropriateness, feasibility), service delivery-related outcomes in Spain and Belgium (feasibility, implementation cost, coverage) and systemic outcomes in Belgium (impacts of delivering staff support on the whole organization/facility including impact for residents and families).
  3. To identify barriers and facilitators specific to the chosen organisations which influence successful scaling up and implementation of the stepped-care DWM/PM+ programmes through process evaluations.

WP leader: UAM

WP5: Vulnerable groups

Objectives

  1. To assess the needs of stakeholders and end-users for the implementation and scaling up of the stepped-care DWM/ PM+ programmes for vulnerable groups.
  2. To implement and evaluate implementation of scaling up the stepped care DWM/PM+ programmes within vulnerable groups in terms of resilience, wellbeing, mental health outcomes, health inequalities, and costs to health systems.
  3. To identify barriers and facilitators specific to vulnerable groups that affected successful scaling up and implementation of the stepped-care DWM/PM+ programmes (process evaluation).

WP leader: UNIVR

WP6: Communication, Dissemination and Knowledge Transfer

Objectives:

  1. To identify and engage new organisations and target groups (beyond those participating in the implementation of the project) who may be interested in integrating the intervention in their routine activities and contribute to further scaling up of the stepped-care DWM/PM+ programmes and in contributing to their further optimisation.
  2. Make publicly available all training and intervention materials to allow for uptake in a wide range of organizations beyond the duration of the project.
  3. Develop and communicate information on financing estimates to relevant stakeholders within health systems including estimates of resource needs and potential benefits (for the organization and for the participants) to be expected when implementing the stepped-care DWM/PM+ programmes.
  4. To disseminate the results of the implementation of the stepped care SH+/ PM+ programmes within the scientific community, among all identified stakeholders, and the wider public and end-users.
  5. To accumulate and disseminate evidence from RESPOND and communicate RESPOND results to provide guidance and support for regional, national, and international agencies to aid preparedness and response for pandemics, through a series of policy briefs.

WP leader: VUA

WP7: Ethics requirements

Objective:

The objective is to ensure compliance with “ethics requirements” as set out in this work package.

WP leader: VUA

WP1

WP1: Management and overall coordination

Objectives:

  1. To efficiently manage and coordinate RESPOND so that objectives in the other WPs are achieved.
  2. To communicate with and report to the European Commission.
  3. To oversee ethics approval and safe data management across all WPs.

WP leader: VU Amsterdam

WP2

WP2: Identifying risk and resilience groups

Objectives:

Short-term impacts (Study 1):

  1. Rapid identification of risk groups likely to experience high levels of mental health problems, reduced wellbeing, and low resilience in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and epidemic control decisions within vulnerable groups and the general population.
  2. To identify non-intended consequences of the epidemic control decisions, such as increases in loneliness, substance use, and technology consumption.
  3. To examine the impact of COVID-19 related mental health problems on adherence to the restrictions related to staying home.

Long-term impacts (Study 2):

  1. To identify the long-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and epidemic control measures on the mental health and wellbeing of the general population and vulnerable groups.
  2. To examine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and epidemic control measures on the demand for (mental) health services.
  3. To identify the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and epidemic control measures on socio-economic and ethnic inequalities with regard to mental health.

 

WP leader: INSERM

WP3

WP3: Health system preparedness

Objectives:

  1. To analyse and compare the specific policies and measures of different countries and regions across Europe to address the COVID-19 pandemic, with a particular focus on how systems have responded to the need to protect the resilience, wellbeing and mental health of groups at particularly high risk, including health workers providing short-term care, long-term care facility staff, other vulnerable groups, as well as the general population.
  2. To conduct ongoing mental health impact assessments of country responses to COVID-19 to assess the extent to which resilience, mental health, and wellbeing have been integrated into policy responses, what impact they have had on inequalities on mental health as well as on the immediate and longer-term socio-economic costs of poor mental health for health workers and long-term care facility staff, other vulnerable groups, as well as the general population.
  3. To examine how country responses to the mental health impacts of COVID-19 have been influenced by health system preparedness, including surveillance, public health, and mental health infrastructure, availability of local and international scientific advice, and socio-economic, cultural and political factors.
  4. To explore how the scaling up of remote-delivered stepped care of WHO interventions supports health system responsiveness to the mental healthcare needs of the population during the COVID-19 pandemic, and vulnerable groups in particular.

WP leader: London School of Economics and Political Science

WP4

WP4: Health and care workers

Objectives

  1. To assess the needs of stakeholders and end-users for the implementation and scaling up of the stepped-care DWM/PM+ programmes for health workers in Spain and care workers in Belgium to improve the resilience, wellbeing, mental health, and work-functioning of staff and mitigate health inequalities during and after pandemics.
  2. To evaluate the implementation and effectiveness of the stepped-care DWM/PM+ programmes in terms of health worker outcomes in Spain (e.g., resilience, mental health outcomes, wellbeing, work performance outcomes, health inequalities, acceptability, adoption, appropriateness, feasibility), service delivery-related outcomes in Spain and Belgium (feasibility, implementation cost, coverage) and systemic outcomes in Belgium (impacts of delivering staff support on the whole organization/facility including impact for residents and families).
  3. To identify barriers and facilitators specific to the chosen organisations which influence successful scaling up and implementation of the stepped-care DWM/PM+ programmes through process evaluations.

WP leader: UAM

WP5

WP5: Vulnerable groups

Objectives

  1. To assess the needs of stakeholders and end-users for the implementation and scaling up of the stepped-care DWM/ PM+ programmes for vulnerable groups.
  2. To implement and evaluate implementation of scaling up the stepped care DWM/PM+ programmes within vulnerable groups in terms of resilience, wellbeing, mental health outcomes, health inequalities, and costs to health systems.
  3. To identify barriers and facilitators specific to vulnerable groups that affected successful scaling up and implementation of the stepped-care DWM/PM+ programmes (process evaluation).

WP leader: UNIVR

WP6

WP6: Communication, Dissemination and Knowledge Transfer

Objectives:

  1. To identify and engage new organisations and target groups (beyond those participating in the implementation of the project) who may be interested in integrating the intervention in their routine activities and contribute to further scaling up of the stepped-care DWM/PM+ programmes and in contributing to their further optimisation.
  2. Make publicly available all training and intervention materials to allow for uptake in a wide range of organizations beyond the duration of the project.
  3. Develop and communicate information on financing estimates to relevant stakeholders within health systems including estimates of resource needs and potential benefits (for the organization and for the participants) to be expected when implementing the stepped-care DWM/PM+ programmes.
  4. To disseminate the results of the implementation of the stepped care SH+/ PM+ programmes within the scientific community, among all identified stakeholders, and the wider public and end-users.
  5. To accumulate and disseminate evidence from RESPOND and communicate RESPOND results to provide guidance and support for regional, national, and international agencies to aid preparedness and response for pandemics, through a series of policy briefs.

WP leader: VUA

WP7

WP7: Ethics requirements

Objective:

The objective is to ensure compliance with “ethics requirements” as set out in this work package.

WP leader: VUA

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