Pandemic Might Have Ongoing Mental Health Effects, CWRU Researchers Say

May 4, 2020

Credit CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY

Case Western Reserve University researchers are studying trauma caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and they say they’re concerned that the outbreak might have lasting mental health effects.

Eighty-six percent of the survey participants reported experiencing one or more trauma symptoms, and 94 percent reported experiencing some form of grief.

Case professor Megan Holmes said although these symptoms don’t necessarily mean people will have lasting trauma-related disorders, social connection is crucial, even at a time when we need to remain physically apart.

“We do want people to stay socially connected. We are just hoping they’re staying physically distant so that we can lower the curve of this infection," she said. "We do want them to be connecting to friends and family through technology or even writing letters.”

Major concerns flagged in the survey so far include: a lack of medical supplies for health care workers, limited access to testing and medical support for patients, and the pandemic’s impact on the economy and on vulnerable populations.