COVID-19 resources

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The mental health effects of the first two months of lockdown and social distancing during the Covid-19 pandemic in the UK

Institute of Fiscal Studies

Mental health in the UK worsened substantially as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic – by 8.1% on average and by much more for young adults and for women which are groups that already had lower levels of mental health before Covid-19. Hence inequalities in mental health have been increased by the pandemic. Even larger average effects are observed for measures of mental health that capture the number problems reported or the fraction of the population reporting any frequent or severe problems, which more than doubled for some groups such as young women. It is important to control for pre-existing recent trends in mental health when attempting to understand and isolate the effects of Covid-19.

Last updated on hub: 17 June 2020

The mental health emergency: how has the coronavirus pandemic impacted our mental health?

MIND

Sets out findings of a survey to understand the experiences of people with pre-existing mental health problems during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, the challenges that they are facing, the coping strategies that they are using, and the support they would like to receive. The report highlights how pre-existing inequalities have been worsened by the pandemic with some groups being more likely to report that their mental health has declined, including women, people with disabilities, those living in social housing, people with eating disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, or personality disorders, and frontline workers. Whilst the research did not find a significant difference in the overall rate of decline in mental health for people from BAME communities in comparison to White people, they did report that their mental health got worse. Key learnings set out in this report include: more than half of adults and over two thirds of young people said that their mental health has gotten worse during the period of lockdown restrictions, from early April to mid-May; restrictions on seeing people, being able to go outside and worries about the health of family and friends are the key factors driving poor mental health; feelings of loneliness have made nearly two thirds of people’s mental health worse during the past month; many people do not feel entitled to seek help, and have difficulty accessing it when they do; a quarter of adults and young people who tried to access support were unable to do so - not feeling comfortable using phone/video call technology has been one of the main barriers to accessing support.

Last updated on hub: 20 July 2020

The more you know, the less you fear: reflexive social work practices in times of COVID-19

International Social Work

In this article, we present the results of a strategy to disseminate best social work practices during periods of social lockdown in Spain, in a climate characterised by post-truth, misinformation and fake news. Social work is challenged with the task of delivering reliable and quality information aimed at building a better society. At the time of writing, Spain was one of the countries most affected by COVID-19, with one of the highest numbers of deaths per million inhabitants in the world. With the population in lockdown, our strategy was to design a series of innovative web seminars on both the subject and the procedures involved in social work, with the aim of sharing information and best practices to counter disinformation campaigns on social media. The results show the growing demand – both by citizens in general and students and professionals in particular – for reliable information in the field of professional practice. One of the priorities of digital social work must be to disseminate its results in the digital environment.

Last updated on hub: 19 November 2020

The more you know, the less you fear: reflexive social work practices in times of COVID-19

International Social Work

This article presents the results of a strategy to disseminate best social work practices during periods of social lockdown in Spain, in a climate characterised by post-truth, misinformation and fake news. Social work is challenged with the task of delivering reliable and quality information aimed at building a better society. At the time of writing, Spain was one of the countries most affected by COVID-19, with one of the highest numbers of deaths per million inhabitants in the world. With the population in lockdown, the strategy was to design a series of innovative web seminars on both the subject and the procedures involved in social work, with the aim of sharing information and best practices to counter disinformation campaigns on social media. The results show the growing demand – both by citizens in general and students and professionals in particular – for reliable information in the field of professional practice. One of the priorities of digital social work must be to disseminate its results in the digital environment.

Last updated on hub: 15 October 2020

The multiple conditions guidebook – one year on

Richmond Group of Charities

This report revisits seven of the case studies featured in The Multiple Conditions Guidebook to find out how things are progressing in the year since their original publication. Conversations detailing the impact of Covid-19 on people with multiple conditions, and the practitioners and services supporting them, are set out in this report with case study updates from the Black Country (employment support), British Lung Foundation (peer support groups), Cornwall (self-management), Gateshead (GP health reviews), Luton (specialist exercise trainers), Southwark (social prescribing) and Yorkshire (medication reviews). Across all the case studies revisited the Taskforce heard how: there is fear and anxiety from the increased risk to life from the virus for people with pre-existing health conditions and for some a sense that these health conditions mean their lives are less valuable in the face of Covid-19; the restrictions in place to keep people safe mean that people’s health conditions are, more than ever, affecting their ability to go about their life as normal; the disruption to the health and care services that many rely on to keep well not only causes stress and worry but also a deterioration in people’s health.

Last updated on hub: 10 December 2020

The National Academy of medicine social care framework and COVID-19 care innovations

Journal of General Internal Medicine

Despite social care interventions gaining traction in the US healthcare sector in recent years, the scaling of healthcare practices to address social adversity and coordinate care across sectors has been modest. Against this backdrop, the coronavirus pandemic arrived, which re-emphasized the interdependence of the health and social care sectors and motivated health systems to scale tools for identifying and addressing social needs. A framework on integrating social care into health care delivery developed by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine provides a useful organizing tool to understand the social care integration innovations spurred by COVID-19, including novel approaches to social risk screening and social care interventions. As the effects of the pandemic are likely to exacerbate socioeconomic barriers to health, it is an appropriate time to apply lessons learned during the recent months to re-evaluate efforts to strengthen, scale, and sustain the health care sector’s social care activities.

Last updated on hub: 10 February 2021

The National Mental Capacity Forum: Chair's annual report 2019-2020

Ministry of Justice

This is the fourth annual report of the National Mental Capacity Forum. Against the backdrop of the Covid-19 crisis, the report spans three main aspects of the Forum’s work: evaluation of the efficacy of the Forum over its first four years in changing awareness of the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) and its implementation; the legislative changes that resulted in the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act 2019 to move from Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) to Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS); and actions taken from the outset of the pandemic to meet the needs of those who are protected by the MCA and support those providing care and having responsibility for the wellbeing of people with impairments of mental capacity.

Last updated on hub: 01 September 2020

The need for community practice to support aging in place during COVID-19

Journal of Gerontological Social Work

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted systems that support older adults, including older adults aging in their own homes and communities. While much of the calls for gerontological social work practice in response have rightfully focused on direct service provision for health care and basic needs, innovative responses from advocacy and professional organizations, as well as grassroots community groups, have demonstrated the importance of community practice in aging as well. Social work leadership in aging and communities is especially important for addressing issues of equity, inclusion, and meaningful participation across diverse stakeholder groups as local and regional authorities, as well as grassroots groups and community-based organizations, respond to the pandemic. Heightened involvement of social workers in leading place-based communities during this crucial moment has the potential to address long-standing issues within systems to support aging in place and healthy aging, especially with and on behalf of those most directly disadvantaged from multiple forms of injustice.

Last updated on hub: 31 August 2020

The need for improved discharge criteria for hospitalised patients with COVID-19 – implications for patients in long-term care facilities

Age and Ageing

In the COVID-19 pandemic, patients who are older and residents of long-term care facilities (LTCF) are at greatest risk of worse clinical outcomes. We reviewed discharge criteria for hospitalised COVID-19 patients from 10 countries with the highest incidence of COVID-19 cases as of 26 July 2020. Five countries (Brazil, Mexico, Peru, Chile and Iran) had no discharge criteria; the remaining five (USA, India, Russia, South Africa and the UK) had discharge guidelines with large inter-country variability. India and Russia recommend discharge for a clinically recovered patient with two negative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests 24 h apart; the USA offers either a symptom based strategy—clinical recovery and 10 days after symptom onset, or the same test-based strategy. The UK suggests that patients can be discharged when patients have clinically recovered; South Africa recommends discharge 14 days after symptom onset if clinically stable. We recommend a unified, simpler discharge criteria, based on current studies which suggest that most SARS-CoV-2 loses its infectivity by 10 days post-symptom onset. In asymptomatic cases, this can be taken as 10 days after the first positive PCR result. Additional days of isolation beyond this should be left to the discretion of individual clinician. This represents a practical compromise between unnecessarily prolonged admissions and returning highly infectious patients back to their care facilities, and is of particular importance in older patients discharged to LTCFs, residents of which may be at greatest risk of transmission and worse clinical outcomes.

Last updated on hub: 21 January 2021

The need to include assisted living in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic

Journal of the American Medical Directors Association

The risk of complications and death from COVID-19 is markedly skewed toward older adults. In the United States and many other countries, nursing homes are not the only congregate setting that serves older adults with underlying chronic medical conditions. More so, they have been a shrinking component of the residential long-term care system, with some of the largest growth having been in assisted living. Assisted living communities are not the same as nursing homes. In fact, there are several distinct components of assisted living that make this a unique setting and one not to be ignored in relation to COVID-19 planning and response. This editorial summarises key differences between nursing homes and assisted living and their related implications for care during the coronavirus pandemic.

Last updated on hub: 05 May 2020

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