Research published today shows how digital providers are coming together to support the mental health needs of millions of users unable to access traditional services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
For the first time ever, digital providers and experts from over 20 countries have gathered a staggering number of insights about mental health during the pandemic from potentially upwards of 50 million users worldwide.
The study, published in Frontiers in Digital Health and led by Dr Becky Inkster from the University of Cambridge, included a range of digital services, such as patient-to-clinician platforms, digitally-enabled treatments, mental health and wellbeing apps, chatbots and social support networks. It also included insights from financial services providers, and other digital sources, such as the dark web and darknet markets.
The preliminary results paint a troubling and at times bleak picture of the impact that the pandemic is having on people’s mental health but also capture positive aspects, such as peer-to-peer support or virtual companionship for older adults.
“If we’re to be ready for the pandemic’s long-lasting impact on mental health, we need to get an accurate and broad picture of the situation we’re facing”
Dr Becky Inkster