In this component of the white paper, you will compile the evidence from your literature sources to include a written, fully evidence-backed analysis of the current state regarding your chosen topic.
Your analysis needs to focus on evidence-based information resources. You have already gathered eight sources and assessed for credibility. You will use this week to write your literature review. You will gather other sources as you identify gaps in what you have – just as you would need to do in your workplace. A thorough scan of the evidence base is critical to writing in the health professions.
Some additional tips on writing this section of your white paper:
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Please address the following:
To recap, in your evidence-based description of the current state on your issue, your sources should include:
Running Head: COVID-19 AND MENTAL HEALTH 1
The Impact of Corona Virus (COVID 19) on Mental Health
[Student Name Redacted]
HSC 517 Contemporary Issues in Health Care Delivery Systems
[Instructor Name Redacted]
COVID AND MENTAL HEALTH 2
COVID AND MENTAL HEALTH 3
The global Corona Virus (COVID-19) pandemic declared in 2020, has resulted in 3.1
million deaths as of April 24, 2021, and has drastically impacted the daily lives of people
around the world. The pandemic has had a profound impact on the mental health of the
general population increasing overall anxiety, distress, drug and alcohol use, and suicidal
Mental health is underfunded and unprepared to meet the global demand for mental health
services. The development of public health policy further advancing a global mental health
infrastructure and reducing mental health illness-related stigma, prevention, and
management, through awareness and public health media campaigns, will improve mental
health outcomes and the quality of life of those experiencing mental health illness.
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the Corona Virus (COVID 19)
disease, a global pandemic resulting in a multitude of impacts on the global population
(Shamblaw, Runas & Best, 2021). According to the World Health Organization Executive Board
Report, (2021), mental health is defined as the state of mental well-being in which people cope
well with the numerous stresses experienced in life, realize their potential, possess the ability
to function productively, and fruitfully and contribute to their communities. Mental health
problems can occur throughout the life course and a continuum from mild time-limited
COVID AND MENTAL HEALTH 4
distress to severe mental health conditions associated with psychosocial disabilities (World
Health Organization Executive Board Report, 2021). One particular detrimental impact of
COVID 19 is on the mental health and quality of life of various global populations. The
exacerbation of unprecedented levels of anxiety, depression, self-harm, and suicidal ideation,
resulting from the global pandemic, increased the demand for mental health services,
healthcare workforce, and resources from an already compromised capacity of the healthcare
system (Shamblaw, Runas & Best, 2021).
According to the World Health Organization Executive Board Report, (2021), the most
neglected segment of health is mental health. In 2017, a mere median cost of US $2.50 per
capita, was expended on mental health and 75% of people experiencing mental health
conditions in 7 low and middle-income countries surveyed, lacked receiving mental
healthcare. Additionally, those with severe mental health illnesses died up to 20 years sooner
than the general population (World Health Organization Executive Board Report, 2021).
According to Czeisler, et al., (2020), the COVID-19 pandemic is linked to mental health
challenges associated with the many aspects of the pandemic, including but not limited to,
morbidity, mortality, physical distancing, and lockdown orders requiring people to
stay-at-home increasing anxiety disorders, depressive disorders, substance abuse, and suicidal
ideation. The respondents to the Czeisler, et al., (2020), research study reflected the increase in
COVID AND MENTAL HEALTH 5
mental health conditions disproportionately affected vulnerable populations specifically, the
black population, caregivers, essential workers, Hispanic population, and young adults.
According to Ellis, Wynter & Light, (2020), mental health service providers and healthcare
organizations sounded the alarm about the harmful effects the COVID-19 pandemic had on
mental health. Their warning included the exacerbation of anxiety due to the lockdown aspect
of the pandemic and the impact on employment, family, finances, health, and the added
difficulty in access to mental health care services. Additionally, the overwhelming boredom
and frustration from the seclusion and inability to spend in-person time with loved ones. Ellis,
Wynter & Light, (2020), further detail the importance of the mental health consequence of the
pandemic together with the importance of global preparation in response to the toll the
pandemic will have on mental health. Furthermore, their growing concern and stance in
medical circles of the potential for lasting neuropsychiatric impact, resulting from the
economic, medical, physical, psychological, and social interplay highlighting mental health
problems as both a consequence and symptom of the COVID-19 virus. The global consideration
for identifying those vulnerable populations and the preparation and intervention to
effectively combat the hidden aspect of the pandemic, mental health, and wellbeing, should be
at the forefront to mitigate the potential for long-standing impact on mental health.
COVID AND MENTAL HEALTH 6
According to Henderson, Schmus, McDonald & Iriving, (2020), the COVID-19 pandemic
has substantiated a global impact on a multitude of diverse demographic populations
affecting all areas of daily living. Analysis of the current research has concluded minimal
demographic information has been provided based on the far-reaching global impact on all
populations including the impact on the increase in mental health problems within the
general public. Further supporting the research plight necessitating intervention due to the
substantial impact the COVID-19 pandemic has on mental health. A few examples of minimal
demographic information are as follow; Henderson, Schmus, McDonald & Iriving, (2020),
contend children ad vulnerable and at an increased risk for mental and behavioral health
problems. Firorenzato, Zabberoni, Costa & Cona, (2021), based on their research of the Italian
population in Italy, contend the vulnerable groups include women, the underemployed, and
young adults under 45 years of age. According to Ruval, (2020), based on their research study,
the women of India had a higher increased risk of developing mental illness as a result of the
impacts of COVID-19.
Analysis of Current State & Stakeholders
According to Nielsen & Levkovich, (2020), the inequitable investment in access,
infrastructure, and payment investment in mental health compared to medical care remains a
significant issue resulting in the marginalization and stigma of persons with mental illness.
COVID AND MENTAL HEALTH 7
Moreover, Nielsen & Levkovich, (2020), contend the system providing mental health services
to those with mental health needs, have historically been perceived as being for “them” and
not for “us,” however, the COVID-19 pandemic, is altering the perception substantiated by a
survey conducted in June 2020. Nielsen & Levkovich, (2020), share the researchers of the study
reported 40.9% reported at least one behavioral or mental health condition, 30.9% reported
symptoms of the trauma-stressor related disorder (TSRD) and 26.3% started or increased
substance use to cope with emotional stress related to the COVID-19 pandemic highlighting the
realization all people are vulnerable to mental health conditions. They further contend a
substantial portion of the general public has experienced the psychosocial impact of the
According to Zavlis, et al, (2021), the global emergency resulting from the COVID 19
pandemic has necessitated the urgency to assess the impact on the mental health of the
population. Adverse mental health outcomes have resulted from the viral exposure and
economic impact of the pandemic. The general population has incurred an unprecedented
modern-day burden on mental health as a result of the economic and social restrictions
necessitated controlling the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Zavis, et al, (2021), further contend,
mitigating the mental health impact on the general population requires identifying the
contributing factors and overall magnitude of the impact on mental health and wellness.
Contributing factors of anxiety, depression, and traumatic stress were found to evolve as a
COVID AND MENTAL HEALTH 8
result of economic worries, lost income, financial hardship, risk of contracting the COVID-19
virus, and the overall anxiety of a global pandemic.
According to Firorenzato, Zabberoni, Costa & Cona, (2021), across Italy they found a
higher prevalence upward of 36% increase of severe anxiety, abnormal sleep patterns, change
in appetite, depression, hypochondria, and reduced libido resulting from the psychological
and social impact of the lockdown restrictions. According to Raval, (2020), the unprecedented
historical lockdown in India took place for more than 75 days, substantially increasing the
impact on the psychological wellbeing of the population in India. The silent epidemic of
suicide, a leading cause of death within India, increased approximately 47% due to the fear of
contracting COVID 19, 20% due to depression and loneliness, and 11% due to the perceived
stigma of the COVID-19 virus. Raval, (2020), further contends mental health conditions
loneliness, family disputes, financial concerns, and overall anxiety and frustration over the
According to Henderson, Schmus, McDonald & Iriving, (2020), social isolation,
parental stress, job loss, childcare, financial instability, food insecurity, and housing insecurity
have all collectively impacted the mental health and well-being of children as a result of the
COVID-19 pandemic. According to Shaukat, Mansoor-Ali & Razzak, (2021), 198 countries
globally have been impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic rendering a substantial
risk of infection and death for frontline healthcare workers impacting their mental health. In
COVID AND MENTAL HEALTH 9
their study of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on healthcare workers, approximately
23% of those who responded to the study had psychosocial problems, including medical staff,
females made up (90%) of those compared to males (9%) and (81%) of those participants were
nurses compared to physicians (18%). Shaukat, Mansoor-Ali & Razzak, (2021), further contend,
healthcare workers experienced the following mental health conditions; overall anxiety
(44%), severe anxiety (5%), mild anxiety (16%), stress disorder, (27-71%), depression 50%, and
insomnia (34%). Frontline healthcare workers experienced higher risks (95%) for anxiety,
depression, distress, and insomnia.
Needs/Gap in Healthcare Services
According to Fish & Mittal, (2021), while the majority of the attention during the
COVID-19 pandemic has concentrated on the mental health and wellbeing of the frontline
medical workers, the pandemic has increasingly compromised an already vulnerable mental
health provider workforce responsible for confronting the emergent challenge of the
mounting global mental health crisis. The mental health provider participants in the Fish &
Mittal, (2021), research study surveyed concluded 82% shared the COVID-19 pandemic
negatively impacted their ability to provide mental health care to their clients, further
concluding the substantial negative impact on their mental health citing burn-out and being
overwhelmed. Numerous respondents described increased anxiety, stress, and fatigue
associated with conducting telehealth and questioning the effectiveness of their work due to
COVID AND MENTAL HEALTH 10
technology glitches and decreased efficacy. Fish & Mittal, (2021) further contend due to the
increased demand for mental health care services and providers from an already
compromised workforce, the development of digital mental health care delivery
infrastructure inclusive of adaptations for the various populations and areas of practice to
optimize mental health and wellbeing outcomes for all those with mental health problems.
According to the World Health Organization (2020), substantial investment is critical to
further increasing the global mental health crisis exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Reorganization is essential on a global front to develop a mental health system to serve and
sustain the future inclusive of ensuring health insurance packages include coverage for
mental health conditions and the establishment of a human workforce capacity to deliver
quality, evidence-based mental health and social care to those in need.
Efforts to Improve Mental Health During Pandemic
According to a World Health Organization, (2020), news release, 130 countries were
surveyed across the six regions evaluating the interruption in services during the pandemic. A
staggering 60% reported disruptions in mental health services to vulnerable populations.
Additionally, 67% identified disruptions to counseling and psychotherapies and 65%
disruptions to critical harm reduction services. Approximately 70% of the countries surveyed
adopted teletherapy to mitigate the disruptions to previous services conducted in person
(World Health Organization, 2020). In response to the results, the WHO provided a global
COVID AND MENTAL HEALTH 11
recommendation for countries to apportion resources, including funding, to mental health as
a critical and essential response and intervention to the COVID-19 impact on mental health
imploring countries to closely monitor changes in mental health and disruptions in
psychosocial support. The global pandemic has provided the opportunity to highlight the need
to increase funding for mental health on a national and international level to expand mental
health programs (World Health Organization, 2020). According to the World Health
Organization, (2020), mental health receives below a trifling 1% of aid allocated for health.
Prior to COVID-19, the United States of America, (U.S.A.) revealed an estimated annual $1
trillion US dollars are lost each year in economic productivity as a direct result of anxiety and
depression, and per the WHO, studies have substantiated for each US dollar spent on
evidenced-based care and interventions for mental health realizes a return of US$5 (World
Health Organization, 2020).
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provided additional examples of
efforts to reduce and improve the COVID-19 impact on mental health through a multitude of
online resources to assist the general public with coping with stress. A variety of resources are
categorized respective to everyone, families, and children, high-risk individuals, first
responders, and healthcare workers. Resources provided educate recognizing stress-related
disorders, compassion fatigue, burnout, symptoms of stress to assist with identifying the cause
and signs of stress and anxiety and health ways to cope with stress and increase resilience.
COVID AND MENTAL HEALTH 12
Examples include; exercise, plenty of sleep, avoid excessive alcohol and substance use, stretch,
meditate, practice breathing, healthy well-balanced meals, and communication with others.
Additional resources include telephone numbers to the Child Abuse Hotline, Disaster Distress
Helpline, The Eldercare Locator, National Sexual Assault Hotline, National Suicide Prevention
Lifeline, Online Lifeline Crisis Chat, National Domestic Violence Hotline, and the Veterans
Crisis Line (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021).
Analysis of the Successes and Failings of Efforts
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) has caused an unprecedented ongoing modern-day
global pandemic for just over one year. The cumulative total global impact on a multitude of
current and long-term impending aspects from the pandemic is yet to be known, studied,
researched, and published, perhaps rendering analysis of successes and failings premature.
The acknowledgment and attention are given to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on
mental health to date, both on a national and international level is a foundation for the
success of any proceeding response, and efforts established to mitigate the impact are a
success. A society approach to identify the need, the development and implementation of
interventions, and resources to provide mental health care and psychotherapy to those
affected and improve outcomes is a success (Nielsen & Levkovich, (2020). The preceding
efforts presented herein; providing education, resources, and teletherapy are considered
successes. One documented absolute failure prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic is
COVID AND MENTAL HEALTH 13
mental health is the most neglected area of health and mental healthcare globally (World
Health Organization, 2021). The lack of funding earmarked for mental health respectively on a
global level is critically inadequate to meet the demand of mental health needs of the general
population, subsequently, impacting those most vulnerable in society (World Health
According to the World Health Organization, (2021), a recommended response to the
COVID-19 pandemic impact on mental health is investing in mental health interventions
through awareness and communication from public health campaigns. One example is a call
to leaders to establish a public policy to invest in establishing a campaign specific to mental
health, focusing on destigmatizing trepidation and educating the general public about the
signs and symptoms of the multitude of mental health impacts, from COVID-19. Educating the
general population on identifying and reducing anxiety, depression, and overall distress
during the pandemic, providing resources, and fostering self-care, will improve mental health
outcomes and reduce impact.
According to Tubadji, Webber & Boy, (2020), direct COVID-19 pandemic related
public health policy responses, such as a lockdown policy, impact the population’s
psychological wellbeing, supporting, a public health policy to establish a COVID-19 mental
health awareness media campaign to further focus on interventions of the impact on the
COVID AND MENTAL HEALTH 14
psychological well-being of the population. Monitoring of the policy’s response to mental
health can be attained through social media and intranet collected data responses. Public
policymaker strategies include accountability and responsibility for the effects the established
policies have on the general public’s mental health (Tubadji, Webber & Boy, 2020).
According to Eckert, et al, (2018), engaging in social media public health campaigns
during a public health crisis, especially utilizing the global platforms, Facebook and Twitter,
provide the opportunity to share accurate, timely, and transparent information fostering
situational awareness and for monitoring of feedback and assessment. According to Li, (2018),
public health emergencies significantly impact society, and media coverage interventions
affect the attitudes, behaviors, and perceptions of the public. Li, (2018), further substantiates
the COVID-19 pandemic is a public health emergency, requiring an evidenced-based best
practice, such as a public health campaign. The campaign will address mental health during
the pandemic as an appropriate and essential measure to reduce the negative impact on
public health through the establishment of a mental health campaign to reduce stigma,
identify mental health illnesses, educate signs and symptoms, self-care, and provide available
Conclusions and Implications
My perspective on the topic of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health
has been solidified based on my experiences as a [redacted] working in a hospital setting
COVID AND MENTAL HEALTH 15
within administration during the pandemic and having direct daily knowledge of the census
of our mental health unit, mental health emergency unit, and the increased amount of
overflow Baker Acted (BA-52) mental health patients in our emergency center. Additionally,
my perspective has been solidified based on my experience observing the overall distress,
anxiety, and fear of patients and their families not able to see their hospitalized family
members or not able to be with their dying hospitalized family members. The fear, anxiety,
stress, and sadness of the interdisciplinary healthcare workforce as the number of COVID-19
positive patients increased and were dying, fear they would contract COVID-19 and make their
families sick, stress over their peers becoming sick with COVID-19, and the exhaustion they
experienced from the demanding schedules and care this patient population required. I
observed fear, anxiety, and distress from my family, friends, and the general public resulting
from the pandemic, some losing their jobs or having to furlough or let staff go as a result of
the pandemic financially impacting the lives of others. Moreover, awareness of my anxiety,
distress, fear, and sadness both work-related and personally resulting from this
unprecedented modern-day global pandemic impacting the lives and resulting in the deaths of
people around the world. I was compelled by my experiences and observations to research
the topic of how the pandemic impacted the mental health of the general population, those
with mental health illnesses, and what, if anything, was being done to address the mental
health impact of the general populations one-year into the global pandemic.
COVID AND MENTAL HEALTH 16
A perspective that evolved from the research conducted in the global neglect of the
mental health segment of health remains from a financial investment and infrastructure
aspect. The lack of mental healthcare available to those in need, globally, has resulted in poor
life quality outcomes and even premature death before, and, increasing during the COVID-19
pandemic. The impact of the pandemic resulted in unprecedented increases in the general
population experiencing anxiety, depression, self-harm, and suicidal ideation adding an
increased demand for mental health services from a limited mental health sector of the
healthcare workforce and resources (World Health Organization Executive Board Report,
Opposition to the recommendation to invest in communication and awareness through
public health media campaigns by global communities may result due to the stigma associated
with mental illness (Illingsworth, 2020). Globally, countries incur major gaps in addressing the
prevention and management of mental disorders, including, but not limited to, identifying
and measuring mental health disorders and needs, developing policies and mental health
programs to provide necessary mental health care services to those in need. Contributing
factors include cultural, political, religious, and societal influences preventing the
acknowledgment and treatment of mental illness. Mental health stigma is considered the
principal global challenge to improve the health of global populations (Illingsworth, 2020).
Addressing the increase in mental health problems as a result of the impact of the COVID-19
COVID AND MENTAL HEALTH 17
pandemic, together with, the exacerbation of those with mental health illness, substantiate the
need to further address
de-stigmatization, through the development of a collaborative global network, to globally
reduce mental health stigma through education and learning outcomes managing the delivery
and evaluation of impact (Illingsworth, 2020).
Additional future directions for research and the development of solutions to address
the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health include more robust global research
on the short and long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health and the
identification of the increased need for mental health services, especially for vulnerable
populations. The data from ongoing research will assist with identifying the need to improve
and expand the current mental health service infrastructure, it will provide for a more robust
mental health care system to meet the demand of the impact of any future global pandemics.
One additional solution includes the development of public health policy to screen
individuals for mental health problems during vaccination, utilizing an electronic tablet
device, integrated with the registration software process, to administer an assessment tool,
such as the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9). The PHQ-9 patient depression questionnaire
USEFUL NOTES FOR:
COVID AND MENTAL HEALTH 2
Social and physical distancing has become a tool to flatten the curve of the COVID 19 pandemic. However, social distancing can have a negative impact on our mental health. This is because of our predisposition to be with other people. The need and desire to connect with others is part of what makes us human. For example, kids that are raised alone often struggle greatly in their lives
Social and physical distancing has become a tool to flatten the curve of the COVID 19 pandemic.
Social distancing is a way to reduce the spread of disease. People who are infected with COVID 19 are not contagious, but they can spread it through their close contacts. They can also spread it by touching surfaces that have been contaminated with saliva from an infected person—even if they don’t realize it.
The most common symptom of COVID 19 is flu-like symptoms like fever, chills, body aches and sore throats. There may be no other symptoms at first; however, some people begin having severe headaches and vomiting within just a few hours after being exposed to someone else’s saliva (or even before).
However, social distancing can have a negative impact on our mental health.
Social distancing is a psychological phenomenon that occurs when we distance ourselves from others. This can lead to loneliness, isolation and social isolation.
It’s important to note that loneliness and depression are two separate concepts: loneliness refers to feelings of being alone without any connection with other people; depression refers to feelings of sadness or hopelessness due to lack of pleasure or interest in life (1).
Lonely people are more likely than others to develop mental health problems such as anxiety disorders (2), depression (3) and substance abuse issues (4). In addition, they’re also more likely than non-lonely individuals not just at any point during their lives but also following diagnosis with these conditions.
This is because of our predisposition to be with other people.
We are social creatures. We live in a world full of people, and we need to be around other people to survive. But what happens when we don’t have anyone to connect with?
We may feel lonely and isolated, which can lead to depression or anxiety disorders like PTSD or OCD.
The need and the desire to connect with others is part of what makes us human.
The need and desire to connect with others is part of what makes us human. We are social creatures who need to be around other people, especially our family members. Our brains are hardwired for social interactions.
When we interact with others, it makes us happy! This is why people seek out relationships in which they feel loved and cared for or feel like they have someone who understands them completely (i.e., a best friend).
For example, kids that are raised alone often struggle greatly in their lives.
For example, kids that are raised alone often struggle greatly in their lives. They may have difficulty with school and socialization, or they may even be diagnosed with depression and anxiety disorders.
You can help your loved one by encouraging them to join a support group like Parents of Divorce Kids (PODK), which offers support for those who have experienced the same trauma as you.
So, while being isolated or socially distanced is a necessary evil right now, what can we do to cope mentally and emotionally?
Do not isolate yourself. It’s important to keep in touch with your friends, family and other people who care about you.
Try to maintain your social connections. If you’re feeling isolated, reach out and talk with someone who understands how painful it can be when no one seems interested in seeing or talking with you anymore. It may be hard at first, but try not to give up on making new friends as soon as things get worse; this will only make things worse for both of you!
Talk about what’s happening in your life with others who understand where you are coming from (whether they are related or not). Don’t feel like there’s anything wrong with seeking help from friends/family members because everyone needs support sometimes – even though some people might think differently than others do about whether this is necessary based upon their own experiences alone without having anything else going on within themselves collectively together front-facing towards each other.”
Here’s an article with some ideas.
You can find some helpful ideas in this article.
Coping with social isolation and depression: http://www.ehow.com/how_6518038_cope-loneliness.html
Coping with anxiety: http://www.mentalhelp.net/poc/view_doc.php?type=article&id=6452&disposition=print
In conclusion, social isolation is not a good thing for anyone. Whether we’re talking about the mentally ill or just people who want to connect with others, it’s important that we provide them with ways to interact without having to rely on others for support. And if you are feeling lonely and isolated, there are ways in which can still connect with other people without feeling like your life isn’t worth living anymore. The key here is finding out what works best for each person individually so they can find their own way back into society
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