Potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health outcomes in societies with economic and political instability: case of Lebanon
Article publication date: 24 August 2020
Issue publication date: 7 October 2020
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease that has rapidly spread to most cities in the world since December 2019 causing a rise in global mortality and adverse effects on mental health. This paper aims to examine the potential implications of the pandemic for mental health in societies with economic and political instability, focusing on Lebanon.
Previous empirical research into mental health and COVID-19 was examined in relation to the Lebanese context.
There is a risk of poor mental health in Lebanon owing to the deleterious effects of military conflict and political instability over several decades. More recently, the country is also experiencing the worst economic crisis in its history with unprecedented rates of unemployment, inflation, poverty, and devaluation of the national currency. It is suggested that the lockdown measures may be depriving the Lebanese people of effective coping strategies, such as group memberships (e.g., religion), social support and community involvement, during the COVID-19 outbreak. This in turn may lead to the deployment of maladaptive coping strategies in the population.
Mental health services are still in their formative phases in Lebanon and mostly run by civil society organizations. There is an urgent need for a national action plan to respond to the potential mental health burden and use of maladaptive coping strategies which may arise in the aftermath of COVID-19.
This paper provides a novel analysis of mental health in Lebanese society through the lens of social, political, economic and psychological factors.
Jaspal, R., Assi, M. and Maatouk, I. (2020), "Potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health outcomes in societies with economic and political instability: case of Lebanon", Mental Health Review Journal, Vol. 25 No. 3, pp. 215-219. https://doi.org/10.1108/MHRJ-05-2020-0027
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