Op-ed: Addressing mental health during COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused depression, anxiety, and loneliness to spike around the world, at a time when, according to the World Health Organization, many countries are experiencing disruptions and cutbacks in mental health services.

In an opinion piece published October 10, 2020 in Outlook India, Ananya Awasthi, assistant director of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s India Research Center, called for increasing awareness and reducing stigma around mental health problems.

She listed some coping strategies for getting through tough times, including “accepting the emotional reactions you have, being open to revising your expectations,” and “focusing on situations that you can control,” in addition to getting regular exercise and good sleep. Awasthi also highlighted the REACH Initiative at Harvard Chan School, which aims to communicate evidence-based skills on managing stress and enhancing resilience.

Read the op-ed: Here’s What 2020 Taught Us About Mental Health