Image: © Hamed Mehrnik

Mental impact of the COVID-19 pandemic: an initial exploration of scientific literature

The Health Council of the Netherlands has reviewed the latest scientific knowledge in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Young adults, the elderly and professional groups that are under pressure, such as healthcare workers, are the main population groups more likely to experience mental health problems. In addition, more people have found themselves in circumstances that increase the likelihood of mental health problems, such as financial insecurity, unsafe home situations and learning disadvantages. The Council believes that the emerging picture gives cause for concern. It is important to continue to closely monitor developments and to identify whether initiatives taken to improve mental health are effective and adequate. The Committee also recommends that no new interventions be developed, but that existing effective and low-threshold interventions be implemented. It is also important to provide accessible support to vulnerable groups and to ensure continuity in the assistance on offer, supported by long-term funding.