Growing attention is being given to the potential implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for people’s mental health and well-being. There is still limited information about how the COVID-19 crisis has exacerbated and/or introduced new mental health challenges for people around the world; even less is known about how the pandemic is affecting the mental health and well-being of residents of informal settlements.
Prior to the pandemic, rates of depression, anxiety, psychological distress, substance abuse, and suicidality—all conditions that are likely being exacerbated by the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic—were already higher in informal settlements than in other communities. This pandemic may exacerbate or create new mental health challenges for residents in informal settlements.
The purpose of this panel discussion is to bring together mental health experts living and working in informal settlements to discuss mental health in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic and to provide recommendations for managing and mitigating mental health challenges in these communities.