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A new paper published in The Lancet Psychiatry highlights an urgent need to tackle the harmful impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health and potentially the brain and calls for research on these areas to be central to the global response to the pandemic.

The paper warns that the COVID-19 pandemic could have a ‘profound’ and ‘pervasive impact’ on global mental health now and in the future, yet a separate recent analysis shows that so far, only a tiny proportion of new scientific publications on COVID-19 have been on mental health impacts. The authors, including Professor Andy Przybylski from the Oxford Internet Institute and Professor Irene Tracey from the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, call for more widespread mental health monitoring and better ways to protect against, and treat, mental ill health – both of which will require new funding and better coordination.

The general public already have substantial concerns about mental health in relation to the pandemic - according to an Ipsos MORI poll of 1099 members of the UK public, and a survey of 2198 people by the UK mental health research charity, MQ, that included many people with experience of mental health conditions.

Read the full story on the University of Oxford website

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