UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is joining the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to boost its support for research investigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health, by seeking to fund new research on the topic and offering priority delivery support for mental health research.
Research to date shows that the COVID-19 pandemic is having negative effects on individual and population mental health. Emerging findings from general population surveys have highlighted increased levels of anxiety and depression compared with usual levels and the negative effects of lockdown on wellbeing.
A group of experts convened by the Academy of Medical Sciences and MQ has outlined a number of research priorities in mental health and COVID-19. The immediate priorities include the effects of the pandemic on: mental health in the whole population and in vulnerable groups; brain function and cognition; and the mental health of patients with COVID-19.
To support this research response, the NIHR and UKRI have issued a new call for research proposals on the rapid identification and mitigation of the acute mental health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The aim of this new call is to reduce the emergence of new, and exacerbation of existing, mental health problems, and to improve outcomes for people whose mental health has already been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
This highlight notice, which forms part of UKRI’s rapid response rolling funding call with NIHR, seeks research proposals on how the measures imposed to reduce the spread of the virus in the UK stand to impact on immediate mental health, and the role of other factors, including but not limited to, stress, stigma, isolation, bereavement and trauma (including trauma following intensive car treatment in COVID-19 patients with severe illness).
The research funded by this highlight notice is expected to have an impact on public health within 12 months
Sir Mark Walport, Chief Executive of UKRI, said: “The challenges of COVID-19 and the necessary actions taken by all of us to slow its spread have had a profound effect on the way we live our lives. As lockdowns begin to ease, the impacts of these changes are likely to linger for months, if not years, to come.
The research funded by this call will help us to understand the scope of these effects on our mental health, within in a timeframe that will enable these findings to benefit those most in need.”
Article Source: https://www.nihr.ac.uk/documents/highlight-notice-covid-19-and-mental-health/24978