An overview of preventive and control strategies for common mental health disorders during infectious disease epidemics

Shradha Parsekar, Vijay Shree Dhyani, Eti Rajwar, Jisha B. Krishnan, Bhumika Tumkur Venkatesh, Kavitha Saravu, Helmut Brand

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic has affected people’s mental health owing to different factors. The primary objective of this review was to systematically summarize available literature on the range of interventions for common mental health disorders during an infectious disease outbreak, specifically focusing on the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: We searched PubMed, PsychInfo, Scopus, Web of Science, CINAHL, EPPI mapper and Google Scholar to identify English literature published since January 2010. We included scientific research studies and grey literature, extracted the information and summarized results thematically. Results: A range of common mental health disorders that affected populations from most parts of the world and associated factors were identified. We thematically classified intervention into the following: providing accurate and timely information and ensuring adequate supplies of daily need essentials; developing mindfulness and resilience that can revive self-sufficiency and self-awareness in stress management; early identification; providing necessary mental health care through professionals; and health system strengthening and capacity building interventions. Conclusion: There is an immediate need for a collective action through inter-sectoral coordination at community, national and international levels. Policymakers and program implementers should be prepared to tackle common mental health disorders amidst the ongoing COVID–19 pandemic and in future emerging and re-emerging infectious disease outbreaks.

Original languageEnglish
Article number297
Publication statusPublished - 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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