This Research Topic is the fifth volume in the series: Community Series in Mental Illness, Culture, and Society: Dealing with the COVID-19 Pandemic. The previous volumes can be viewed here: Volume I Volume II Volume III Volume IV
The COVID-19 outbreak has impacted many areas of our lives, including mental health. Lockdown and physical distancing measures have been one major effective intervention to counter the spread of the virus and reduce the impact of the disease. However, they have negatively impacted mental well-being and behaviors, either triggering the onset of new psychiatric symptoms and diseases or amplifying pre-existing ones. The pandemic and lockdown measures have also been associated with reduced access to treatment and facilities all over the world, further worsening mental health outcomes. The impact on mental health, although universal, varied between nations. Cultural and societal variables, including norms, values, religion, and stigma have played an important role in shaping COVID-19-related mental health symptoms, including anxiety, depression, grief, psychosis, and addiction. These sociocultural factors have also molded how mental health interventions are tailored and provided. Highlighting the intertwining relationship between the pandemic, mental health, and sociocultural factors are essential to managing emerging mental health symptoms adequately.
The limited research about the relationship between mental health, sociocultural factors, and the COVID-19 pandemic amplifies the lack of awareness about this topic and the importance of developing socioculturally tailored interventions to treat affected patients. The purpose of this Research Topic, therefore, is to assess the intricate relationship between sociocultural, environmental, and local factors and the personal and national management of COVID-19. This Research Topic will look, in particular, into how such factors can influence or have influenced the personal, institutional, and national management of the pandemic and mental disorders throughout this period.
Of interest will be articles addressing the following questions:
• What is the impact of different cultures, norms, values, social backgrounds, or religions on attitudes toward patients with COVID-19?
• What is the impact of different cultural norms, values, or religions on attitudes toward patients with mental disorders? How did the COVID-19 outbreak impact these attitudes?
• How did culture and society in different countries or geographic areas shape the manifestations of COVID-19-related mental health outcomes? Areas to discuss include mood disorders, anxiety disorders, psychotic disorders, sleep disorders, grief, and addiction.
• How did culture and society in different countries or geographic areas shape the management of COVID-19-related mental health outcomes? Areas to discuss include mood disorders, anxiety disorders, psychotic disorders, sleep disorders, grief, and addiction.
• How were religious beliefs and rituals affected during the COVID-19 outbreak? What were the consequences on mental health outcomes? Areas to discuss include personal or work-related impairment, grief, and coping skills.