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Depression was already the second leading cause of global burden of disease before the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic almost one year ago. Mental health conditions were associated with global economic costs rising to U$S 1 trillion per year. These estimates are expected to further increase in the current context and have an unprecedented impact on an already overstretched healthcare system. Identifying preventable risk factors for depression and other mental health conditions has the potential to help reduce this burden and improve the mental wellbeing of all citizens.
Higher rates of anxiety and depression can be directly associated with the infection in a part of the population that experiences increased fear of getting infected, contagion or uncertainty regarding the course of the treatment. But the largest impact of the pandemic will be indirect, and associated with stressors originating from the significant disruptions in living and socioeconomic conditions including enforced isolation, domestic violence, financial burden and wider environmental factors such as lack of access to green spaces. In this seminar we will discuss these expectations based on the social determinants of mental health model and results of the CoviCat study.
About the presenter and the project:
Ximena Goldberg Hermo is a clinical psychologist, PhD in Biomedicine and Assistant Research Professor at ISGlobal, where she leads the mental health work group of the CoviCat project. This is a cohort of 15,000 participants in Catalonia sourced from 6 pre-pandemic ongoing studies. After the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, participants were re-contacted and data collected on relevant health factors including mental health. Longitudinal assessment of all participants continuous at different waves during 2021, 2022 and 2023.
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