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The Hidden Crisis: Mental Health in Times of COVID-19 (2020)


n May 2020, the United Nations warned that the COVID-19 pandemic has the seeds of a major mental health crisis if action is not taken. Social isolation, job and financial losses, uncertainty about the real impact of the crisis, and fear for physical well-being affect the mental health of many people worldwide. Do these stressors lead to an increase in the number of depressions and anxiety disorders? What are the challenges on the healthcare side? What effects do protective policy measures against the virus have for human mental health?
International experts explored these issues at an virtual panel discussion on Monday, 28 September.


  • Professor Berta Ausín, Department of Personality, Evaluation and Clinical Psychology, Complutense University of Madrid, Spain
  • Professor Oye Gureje, WHO Collaborating Centre for Research and Training in Mental Health, University of Ibadan, Nigeria
  • Professor Andreas Heinz, Member of the Leopoldina, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Charité University Hospital, Berlin, Germany
  • Professor Ashraf Kagee, Department of Psychology, University of Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch, South Africa

The panel was moderated by Professor Marcella Rietschel, Member of the Leopoldina, Head of the Department Genetic Epidemiology in Psychiatry and Scientific Director Central Institute of Mental Health in Mannheim, Germany.

Image: AdobeStock/jiris

© German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina 2020


Patrick Melzer

Website Editor Press and Public Relations

Phone 0345 47 239 - 803
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