This section details measures countries are taking to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak in mental health settings internationally.
It also includes resources for psychiatrists developed by international and national organisations, such as those produced by the American Psychiatric Association.
If you are aware of any other international resources or policies, please contact Agnes Raboczki, International Liason Manager at Agnes.Raboczki@rcpsych.ac.uk.
This page will be updated as we receive more and new information. We encourage you to check it back regularly.
Managing mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic: Resources from the WHO
- The World Health Organisation (WHO) Mental Health Department has published guidance on "Mental health and psychosocial considerations during the COVID-19 outbreak" as support for mental and psychological well-being during the COVID-19 outbreak.
- Another set of resources, including flyers to help people cope with stress, can be found on the WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean website. You can also read the following documents: Coping with stress during COVID-19 and Helping children cope with stress during COVID-19.
- You can also watch a live-streamed Q&A session on mental health during COVID-19 with Aiysha Malik, Technical Officer at the WHO's Mental Health and Substance Use Department on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
- UNICEF, WHO and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) produced a guide for preventing and addressing social stigma associated with COVID-19.
- You can also view this Psychological first aid: Guide for field workers which shows how to offer humane, supportive and practical help for those suffering serious crisis events.
- The WHO have also published Builidng Back Better: Sustainable mental health care after emergencies.
Other resources include:
- WHO Doing what matters in times of stress
- IASC MHPSS Briefing note on COVID-19
- IASC Guidance on Operational considerations for Multisectoral Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Programmes during the COVID-19 Pandemic
- WHO Healthy at Home Guidance
- Addressing Human Rights as Key to the COVID-19 Response
- 'My Hero is You' - IASC children's book on COVID-19
- Webinar Recording: "Essential mental health service delivery during the COVID-19 outbreak and response".
COVID-19 mental health resources from the WPA and the WEF
The World Psychiatric Associates (WPA) invite all psychiatrists to share what they are doing to support their communities, so that they, in turn, can share it with their global network via their website. Their goal is to build a library of information that will be helpful to you. Some links to trusted sources and resources are already available.
Meanwhile, the World Economic Forum (WEF) has collected insights from people around the world on managing mental health during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Lancet Psychiatry, Mental Health Innovation Network, MHPSS.net and United for Global Mental Health are running a series of weekly webinars designed to provide policy makers and the wider health community with the latest evidence on the impact of COVID-19 on mental health and how to address it. Sign up to the seminar series. Please email COVID19seminars@unitedgmh.org with any questions.
Other sources to access COVID-19 information
Updated information from the WHO about COVID-19 is available through:
- COVID-19 general website with country and technical guidance, tips to protect yourself, trainings on COVID-19 preparedness, travel advice, and more
- COVID-19 news and COVID-19 situation reports with up-to-date announcements
- Strategic preparedness and response plan for COVID-19 to support national preparedness and response to the epidemic
- COVID-19 course series for health professionals on responding to COVID-19
- COVID-19 Social media cards: please share via your social channels or retweet from WHO channels.
Other international resources per theme include:
- World Federation for Mental Health has launched an appeal for National Plans for Mental Health during the Coronavirus Global Emergency including recommendations for governments.
- Minds United for Mental Health Campaign. War Child.
- Mind the Gap Campaign and Resources. Human Rights in Mental Health-FGIP.
- Joint Position Statement on Equality and Equity in COVID-19
- Position Statement on FGIP on COVID-19 on mental health
- Guidelines for directors of residential care settings
- Guidelines for clients of residential care settings
COVID-19 Policy Watch
Public Health Information
- Coronavirus and your wellbeing. Mind UK.
- Recover together campaign. Mental health PH.
- COVID-19 Toolkit. MHPSS.net
- COVID-19 Resource. Key advocacy messages, questions to ask on inclusion and signpost resources to learn more. CBM.
- COVID-19 and mental health resources. Global Mental Health Peer Network.
Children and Young People
- Talking to your children about the Coronavirus pandemic. Mental Health Foundation.
- How teenagers can protect their mental health during coronavirus. UNICEF.
- Technical Note: Protection of Children during the Coronavirus Pandemic. The Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action.
- Early Childhood Focused COVID-19 Resources. Early Childhood Development Action Network.
- Tips for Parents During COVID-19 School Closures. (Also available in French, Arabic and Spanish) MHPSS Collaborative and Save the Children.
- COVID-19 and youth mental health. Voices of Youth
- COVID-19 and people living with dementia: global resources. Alzheimer's Disease International (ADI)
- COVID-19 and the consequences of isolating in the elderly. The Lancet.
- COVID-19 and persons with psychosocial disabilities. Pan African Network of Persons with Psychosocial Disabilities, Redesfera Latinoamericana de la Diversidad Psicosocial - Locura Latins, TCI Asia Pacific, European Network of (Ex-) Users and Survivors of Psychiatry, World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry (available in English, Spanish and available in multiple other languages now too)
- Analysis of COVID-19 Related Funding for Mental Health. United for Global Mental Health.
Mental Health Research
- The psychological impact of quarantine and how to reduce it: rapid review of the evidence. The Lancet.
- Mental Health Implications of COVID-19. Professor Shekhar Saxena, Harvard T H Chan School of Public Health
- Coping with Coronavirus: Support for the Autism Community. National Institute of Mental Health.
- Webinar recording: COVID-19 How to Support ourselves and Others Through Times of Fear and Isolation. Mental Health America.
- Addressing the COVID-19 Pandemic in Populations with Serious Mental Illness. JAMA Psychiatry.
- Coronavirus: The word 'social distancing' was poorly chosen. Interview with Dr Vikram Patel. Deccan Herald.