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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 159-165

Stories from the Field: Mapping Innovation in Mental Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic

1 Mental Health Innovation Network, London, UK
2 Global Mental Health Researcher, Geneva, Switzerland
3 CBM Global, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK

Correspondence Address:
Giovanni Sala
Via Firenze 32, Biella
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/INTV.INTV_22_20

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The COVID-19 pandemic has raised significant concerns for individual and population mental health. Physical health consequences of the virus, public health prevention measures and economic slowdown negatively impact mental health and pose challenges for the continuation of mental health services. To learn how healthcare workers responded to these difficulties, the Mental Health Innovation Network in collaboration with the World Health Organization Department of Mental Health and Substance Use launched a global call for stories from healthcare workers. Published submissions highlighted innovations and adaptations in mental health support, representing a range of geographical regions, resource settings and target populations. This article summarises key lessons learnt and recommendations from the project, including (1) promote access to basic needs, (2) prioritise care for vulnerable groups and people with severe mental health conditions, (3) support staff mental health, especially frontline health workers, (4) engage hard-to-reach groups through informal communication channels and collaboration with caregivers and (5) support central decision-making mechanisms and cross-sectoral coordination. Using case study examples from the submissions, this field report aims to inform and inspire mental health and psychosocial support providers striving to continue services during the pandemic.

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