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The impact of the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental-health services in Europe

Thome, Johannes and Deloyer, Jocelyn and Coogan, Andrew N and Bailey-Rodriguez, Deborah and da Cruz e Silva, Odete AB and Faltraco, Frank and Grima, Cathleen and Gudjonsson, Snaebjorn Omar and Hanon, Cecile and Hollý, Martin and Joosten, Jo and Karlsson, Ingegerd and Kelemen, Gabriela and Korman, Maria and Krysta, Krzysztof and Lichterman, Boleslav and Loganovsky, Konstantin and Marazziti, Donatella and Maraitou, Margarita and Mertens de Wilmars, Serge and Reunamen, Merja and Rexhaj, Shyhrete and Sancaktar, Muhammet and Sempere, Javier and Tournier, Isabelle and Weynant, Emilie and Vis, Christiaan and Lebas, Marie-Clotilde and Fond-Harmant, Laurence (2020) The impact of the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental-health services in Europe. The World Journal of Biological Psychiatry. pp. 1-15. ISSN 1562-2975

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Abstract

The current COVID-19 pandemic confronts psychiatric patients and mental health services with unique and severe challenges. In order to identify these trans-national challenges across Europe, an ad-hoc survey was conducted among 23 experts, each answering for one European or aligned country. A number of important themes and issues were raised for the impact of COVID-19 on mental health and mental health services, barriers to service provision and future consequences. A number of key issues were reported by colleagues across several jurisdictions, even though these were at different stages of their national epidemics. Based on these findings, we articulate some important learnings from the early stages of the COVID-19 European pandemic, and highlight key considerations for all countries’ mental health services as the current pandemic develops and for future pandemics.

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