COVID-19 Concerns Among Persons With Mental Illness [2020]

Objective:
The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has been recognized as causing a wide variety of behavioral health problems. Society must mitigate this impact by recognizing that COVID-19 can trigger people’s fears of exacerbating an existing mental illness. A survey about COVID-19 for people with mental illness was developed.

Methods:
Two hundred fourteen people responded to the survey, of whom 193 self-identified as living with a mental illness.

Results:
Almost all participants living with a mental illness (98%) said they had at least one major concern regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, and 62% said they had at least three major concerns.

Conclusions:
People living with a mental illness are very concerned about disruption of services, running out of medication, and social isolation during this pandemic. Providers and mental health services could address these fears by connecting with people living with mental illness through text messaging and social media.

HIGHLIGHTS
People with mental illness are very concerned about disruption of services due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

People with mental illness are feeling isolated and socially disconnected because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Social media and text messaging seem to be the best forms of communication with those with a mental illness who are having difficulty coping with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mark Costa, M.D., M.P.H., Anthony Pavlo, Ph.D., Graziela Reis, PMTIC, M.P.H., Katherine Ponte, J.D., M.B.A., Larry Davidson, Ph.D.
Psychiatric Services, 3 Sep 2020
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