Mental Health during the COVID-19 Pandemic - emerging issues

Tuesday 3 May 16.00

Room B

In English


The COVID-19 pandemic has created unique challenges for the global mental health community, leading a crisis with skyrocketing rates of people seeking help.

It is clear that the impact of the outbreak on our health is not only on physical health but also on mental health and psychosocial wellbeing. The world was not set up to respond to the growing mental health crisis before COVID-19, and it is not now. None of mental healthcare systems was prepared for what we are facing now. What is more, it is clear that Covid-19 outbreak will have its long term impact on our mental health and it will be significant.The outbreak impacted mental health services, community-based psychosocial support activities, service users, healthcare workers, but there is not only one group, one society, one country that is affected. We all have to face the outbreak, wherever we live. We struggle not only with the virus itself but we are trying to maintain our psychosocial wellbeing.

The objective of the session is to analyse the impact of the outbreak on mental health services and finding solutions that need to be implemented into every healthcare system, applying the whole society approach with access to emergency mental health and psychosocial support not forgetting about future shape of mental health services and healthcare delivery.


Ann Lindsay

World Federation for Mental Health
European Association for Counselling
NGO Committee on the Status of Women, UN Geneva


Jakub Bil
Inclusive Habitat Project / Global Mental Health Peer Network
Salvador Camacho
Swiss Tropical And Public Health Institute
Isabella D’Orta

University Hospitals of Geneva

Mark van Ommeren

World Health Organization

Soumitra Pathare
Centre for Mental Health Law & Policy, India