Mental health services in Australia : Covid-19 impact on mental health
The potential for COVID-19 to impact mental health and wellbeing was recognised early in the pandemic (WHO 2020). In addition to concerns around contracting the virus itself, some of the measures necessary to contain its spread were also likely to negatively impact mental health (NMHC 2020). Widespread restrictions of movement, social distancing measures and physical isolation, or ‘lockdowns’, were implemented from March 2020. The sudden loss of employment and social interaction, the added stressors of moving to remote work or schooling and, more recently, impacts of sudden, localised ‘lockdowns’ to prevent further outbreaks have impacted the mental health of many Australians. Stress, confusion and anger are commonplace as a result of the pandemic (Brooks et al. 2020) and, while many people may not experience any long-term concerns, COVID-19 has the potential to contribute to or exacerbate long-term mental illness.