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Mental health innovative solutions in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic

André Rocha (Gaya Higher Polytechnic Institute, Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal)
Fernando Almeida (INESC TEC, CITE Department, Porto, Portugal)

Journal of Science and Technology Policy Management

ISSN: 2053-4620

Article publication date: 5 July 2021




This study aims to explore worldwide innovative solutions that have been proposed to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 pandemic on people’s mental health.


A qualitative methodology is adopted, which performs an exploratory study considering the innovative projects identified by the Observatory for Public Sector Innovation framework. Additionally, the analysis of the relevance and characteristics of these projects are explored considering a multidimensional framework composed of five dimensions: novelty level; social need; improvement of society; sector neutrality; and level of emergence.


The findings reveal that the number of projects in the field of mental health is low, despite their strong relevance to their communities. These projects arise from a strong social need to protect especially the most vulnerable groups in this pandemic and involve a large number of partners in the public sector, business and civil society. The role of volunteering in the revitalization and growth of these initiatives is also recognized.


This study is relevant in both the theoretical and practical dimensions. It allows the exploration of these projects considering the dimensions of social innovation and offers practical implications that allow these projects to be replicated in other countries and regions.



Rocha, A. and Almeida, F. (2021), "Mental health innovative solutions in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic", Journal of Science and Technology Policy Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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