Measuring population-level mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic

The disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic—mandatory masks, social distancing, remote school and work—have touched every facet of our lives, including our mental health. Measurement of mental health, including depression, anxiety, and suicidality, is crucial to understand how to minimize the negative consequences of the pandemic on mental health. This talk will discuss a coordinated effort to collect mental health measures during the COVID-19 pandemic from individuals across the world, on population representative surveys in the US and internationally and a large-scale Facebook based international data collection effort. Results so far indicate substantial mental distress in populations around the world, particularly among those 18-29, those with higher levels of media engagement, and those who are also experiencing financial challenges. Current data resources, implications for future data collection efforts, and prevention and treatment services, will be discussed.

Further background on the JHSPH COVID and mental health measurement working group, and its activities and findings, can be found at this site: