How is Canadians’ mental health affected by COVID-19: visual analytics of social media text

Milios, Evangelos | $50,000

Nova Scotia Dalhousie University 2020 NSERC Alliance COVID-19 Grant

Depression and anxiety are among the most common mental illnesses that affect otherwise capable and productive members of the workforce. The uncertainty and isolation, induced by COVID‑19 lockdown conditions, puts a strain on mental health resources and prevents the most common form of support, which is in-person. Lockdown conditions may exacerbate peoples’ mental health condition and render them less capable of being productive under physical distancing and work from home.

The extent of the impact of COVID‑19 lockdown on the mental health of the population has been assessed only informally and anecdotally, as it requires research that both requires more time and that is infeasible to perform while physical distancing is in effect.

Our proposed research intends to shed light on the above unknown by tapping into social media, which are used as a means of communication, socialization and support by a large fraction of the population, including individuals with mental health disorders.

With funding from the Government of Canada

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