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COVID-19 may be having an indirect impact on people with mental health disorders. The quality of mental health services may be affected as most routine care has been disrupted and healthcare resources have been redeployed to fight COVID-19.

Part of our Mental Health across the Life Course research theme



The overall aim is to better understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the health and service needs of patients with mental health disorders. In this study we will:

  1. assess the effect of the pandemic on health outcomes (including psychotic episodes and self-harm), of people with SMI,
  2. examine the impact of the pandemic on patients’ access and use of mental health services,
  3. identify potential effect moderators at individual patient or service level.



  • A linked dataset of health outcomes and resource use of people with SMI
  •  A peer-reviewed publication
  • Presentation to clinicians and managers at Oxford University Health Trust and other Trusts
  • Dissemination through social media, blogs, letters to mental health networks such as time4recovery.


Expected Impact

The impact of the proposed study could be immediate in redesigning mental health services to respond effectively to the needs of people with SMI during this and a future pandemic.

This study could support an optimal re-deployment plan of NHS resources and “smarter” application of response measures to pandemics to protect the health of one of the most vulnerable groups and reduce further health inequalities induced by the health and associated economic crisis.

Further information and updates:

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Public involvement in this project

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