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Rapid review and commentary on the clinical implications of the population mental health consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia.

Authors
  • Looi, Jeffrey Cl1, 2
  • Allison, Stephen3, 4
  • Bastiampillai, Tarun3, 5, 6
  • Kisely, Stephen R7, 8
  • 1 Academic Unit of Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine, Canberra Hospital, 104822The Australian National University Medical School, Canberra, ACT, Australia; and. , (Australia)
  • 2 Consortium of Australian-Academic Psychiatrists for Independent Policy and Research Analysis (CAPIPRA), Canberra, ACT, Australia. , (Australia)
  • 3 Consortium of Australian-Academic Psychiatrists for Independent Policy and Research Analysis (CAPIPRA), Canberra, ACT, Australia; and. , (Australia)
  • 4 College of Medicine and Public Health, Flinders University, Adelaide, SA, Australia. , (Australia)
  • 5 College of Medicine and Public Health, Flinders University, Adelaide, SA, Australia; and. , (Australia)
  • 6 Department of Psychiatry, 2541Monash University, Wellington Road, Clayton, VIC, Australia. , (Australia)
  • 7 Departments of Psychiatry, Community Health and Epidemiology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada; and. , (Canada)
  • 8 School of Medicine, Princess Alexandra Hospital, 1974The University of Queensland, Ipswich Road, Woolloongabba, Brisbane, QLD, Australia. , (Australia)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Australasian psychiatry : bulletin of Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists
Publication Date
May 12, 2022
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1177/10398562221100090
PMID: 35549517
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

To provide a rapid clinical review and commentary for psychiatrists on the population mental health consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia, including evidence-based findings and interventions. Whilst there was evidence of collective psychological resilience during the first 2 years of the COVID-19 pandemic, younger women, carers for those with COVID-19, and those with more household chores, childcare needs and higher economic strain, were at more risk. Interventions should therefore target people with these socio-demographic risk factors, as well as severe COVID-19 survivors, their relatives and frontline workers. However, the rapid spread of the Omicron SARS-CoV-2 variant has the potential for greater impacts on population mental health. Innovations in telehealth and online therapy should be incorporated into standard care. Ongoing research is needed to assess who remains most vulnerable to negative mental health impacts of the current pandemic, and especially the longer term outcomes of mental ill health. Further research should also investigate evidence-based approaches to resilience and well-being. Prospective risk/benefit analyses of infection control measures, economic effects and mental health consequences are needed.

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