COVID-19 has affected all of us in some way. New research being undertaken by Dr Lesley Berk and the team at Deakin University’s IMPACT strategic research centre aims to find out more about how the Australian public is coping with the challenges they face due to the COVID-19 outbreak, and what can help. The fear and uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, as well as social isolation and economic hardship is likely to require a dedicated response from each one of us, and mental health authorities and governments alike. Both existing evidence from previous global crises and currently emerging evidence, suggest that the mental health toll of this pandemic will likely be monumental. It is therefore of crucial importance to gain a greater understanding of the specific challenges faced by the Australian population during the COVID-19 pandemic, the strategies being used to cope and how helpful they are to the general population. Doing so will help us find ways to best protect the mental well-being of the Australian public now and in the years to come
This research project aims to understand how the Australian public copes with the impact of the ongoing situation regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Specifically, it intends to explore
- The practical and emotional challenges experienced by members of the Australian public due to COVID-19,
- The helpful and unhelpful coping strategies people are using to try to deal with these challenges,
- The use of recommended coping strategies and their perceived helpfulness.
The data collection stage of this study has now concluded with a total of 425 responses collected. The results from this study will help to inform not only individuals but also Australian mental health services about coping strategies that the Australian public are using to cope and how helpful these have been during the pandemic. This will help to better target online information, support, and psychosocial resources to assist the public to deal with the COVID crisis, and enhance their resilience in the future.
For more information about the study and results please contact Dr Lesley Berk.