Interventions to Mitigate COVID‑19 Related Mental Health Risks for Those With Pre-Existing Chronic Health Conditions and Facing Social and Economic Barriers: A Scoping and Rapid Realist Review
There is an urgent need to provide good evidence that will support mental health and substance use care related to COVID-19, especially for those who are at risk of infection. Examples of groups of people who would most benefit from this evidence include those with mental health, cognition, and physical health concerns. In addition, within these groups are people who face different social and financial barriers that are even higher risk for mental health concerns related to COVID-19. There is a lot of different information which is being shared among researchers and health professionals, however, it needs to be carefully evaluated and combined in order to be more meaningful to those who need it. The purpose of our project is to conduct a structured literature search to identify promising programs and policies. The results will be used to develop resources that will help to reduce mental health issues related to COVID 19 infection and recovery for different people. We will work with experts in mental health who develop policies and programs for mental health care in Canada. They will guide our literature search and how to report and distribute the findings. In addition to these experts we will be guided by people who have recovered from COVID-19. We will use a well established approach referred to as a rapid realist review in order to find out what types of program and policies would work for different types of people and in different situations. We will make recommendations to help address the mental health care needs of different at-risk populations and share our information with other researchers, those in health practice, and the general public. The results of this project will help to provide information that is relevant to researchers, health professionals, and the general public. It is one important step that can help manage the COVID‑19 pandemic and future effects of similar disease outbreaks.