UN organizations and resources for mental health and COVID-19
- In May 2020 United for Global Mental Health, Office of the UN Secretary General, WHO and other partners worked on the content and launch of the UN briefing on COVID-19 and the Need for Action on Mental Health
- In February 2021, WHO Executive Board stressed the need for improved response to mental health impact of public health emergencies
- The Director-General of WHO released the mental health preparedness and response for the COVID-19 pandemic in January 2021
- WHO landing page for mental health and COVID-19
- In May 202, the Inter-Agency Standing Committee published Guidance on Basic Psychosocial Skills- A Guide for COVID-19 Responders
United for Global Mental Health webinar
The Lancet Psychiatry, Mental Health Innovation Network, MHPSS.net and United for Global Mental Health organized a series of 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. The aim is to provide practical solutions to the problems we all face.
Activities on mental health and COVID-19 at UW
- WA State COVID-19 Pregnancy Collaborative from the Population Health Initiative Rapid Response Grants
Amritha Bhat, MD, MPH, was an investigator on this proposal along with collaborators in the departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Global Health, Biostatistics and Pediatrics. Their objective was to investigate the effects of a highly communicable infectious disease leading to severe pneumonia and death (COVID-19) in pregnant women in Washington State. Pregnant women are typically a highly vulnerable group to pathogenic respiratory viruses and have the highest WHO priority for influenza vaccination in a pandemic.
The team’s central hypothesis was that COVID-19 infections in pregnancy increase the risk for spontaneous abortion, preterm birth, stillbirth, intrauterine growth restriction and mental health disorders in the mother. They conducted a multi-site prospective chart review of prenatal and neonatal medical records across the majority of health systems in Western Washington (6 hospitals/hospital systems, >20 investigators). Overall, the Washington State COVID-19 in Pregnancy Collaborative sites captured approximately 61% of deliveries in Washington State during the study period.
The team successfully collected data to establish a large, population-based registry in Washington State. Analyses have been completed of the sociodemographic and clinical outcomes of 240 pregnant patients who contracted COVID-19. Work remains ongoing to calculate infection rates, disease severity, co-morbidity, symptom length and possible vascular injury that could impair fetal growth.
The team will continue working toward research to determine how COVID-19 impacts maternal-child physical and mental health. Further grants have been applied and awarded from the Center of Disease Control, Royalty Research Fund and partnerships with Washington State Department of Health.
Resources at UW
The University of Washington School of Medicine page for COVID-10 resources for faculty, clinicians, and general wellbeing.