Knowledge Synthesis to Support and Promote Mental Wellness and Resiliency during the COVID‑19 pandemic
There are currently no vaccine or cures for COVID-19. As a result, our government recommends isolation, quarantine, and other measures to control the virus. However, when people isolate for a long time, their mental health may suffer. Some people with no mental illness, for example, may develop anxiety or depression, with symptoms that can last a long time. Others who are already living with mental illness may experience worsening symptoms, and at the same time experience difficulties accessing their usual health care or social supports. It is therefore important to support the mental health of the population during a pandemic. In line with this, our team of researchers, mental health professionals, and people with lived experience, propose to conduct a rapid review of the evidence on home activities and resources that can support mental health during times of isolation. We also propose to conduct an online survey to understand what activities or resources people prefer and will most likely use. Upon completion, study results will be shared with the government, CMHA and the CIHR. We will create a public website to share the results, with selected examples of effective home activities or resources. A research paper will also be submitted for publication. The results of our study will complement government plans to address the mental health impacts of COVID-19. It will work well, for instance, with the virtual mental health platforms that the government is planning to fund with $240M. We plan to update the project website with new evidence and examples from the literature as they become available so that the website continues to be a useful resource even long after the pandemic is over.