Expect a ‘Long Tail’ of Mental Health Effects From COVID-19

“Grief leadership” is leadership at all levels that acknowledges and honors losses, normalizes grief reactions, helps to make meaning of the events, and supports a community in looking to the future.

Responding to the ongoing disaster that is the COVID-19 pandemic will be “a marathon, not a sprint,” said Joshua Morganstein, M.D., chair of the APA Committee on Psychiatric Dimensions of Disasters, at the virtual APA Spring Highlights Meeting in April.

He is a captain in the U.S. Public Health Service and an associate professor and assistant chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.

As with other disasters, the psychiatric morbidities associated with the pandemic are likely to show up well after the first wave of this public health disaster has subsided. “The psychiatric and behavioral impacts of disasters are experienced by more people over a greater geography, across a much longer period of time than all other medical effects combined,” Morganstein said. “If history is any predictor, we should expect a significant tail of mental health needs that extend for a considerable period of time after this event.”

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Author: Mark Moran

Published online: 15 June 2020

Expect a ‘Long Tail’ of Mental Health Effects From COVID-19 was last modified: July 17th, 2020 by Heidi Rubens Cooper