COVID-19 Mental-Health Responses Neglect Social Realities

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From Nature: “Once again, recommendations forget half of the equation: our need to address the social and economic conditions that contribute to poor mental health. A woman who has lost her job and cannot feed her family will find little relief from a meditation app. Advice such as ‘stay off social media’ will do little to ease the anxiety of a young black man in constant fear of being kicked out of shops by security guards for wearing a face covering, or abused or even killed by law-enforcement officers who have been given new powers to police social behaviour.

Engaging with such systemic vulnerabilities is part of the active research field of community psychology. However, findings from this field are often sidelined by people and agencies crafting mental-health plans, which still focus mainly on the individual. Almost every time I am invited to a mainstream mental-health event to share research or policy advice, I am the only community psychologist in a packed room.”

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