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The stress of the COVID-19 pandemic was unevenly distributed, with some groups suffering more. In response we need urgent investments in equitable access to mental health care.

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The BC Alliance for Monitoring Mental Health Equity (BC AMMHE) is a coalition of researchers based in British Columbia who are interested in promoting mental health equity. We aim to track emerging and evolving research studies from BC that provide data on mental health (including substance use), with particular attention to those who experience social and/or structural barriers to health or healthcare.

About us
University of British Columbia
Simon Fraser University
A person

The Effects of COVID-19 Restrictions on Community Connectedness

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted all of our lives, and in many cases has contributed to worsening mental health. Some felt increased anxiety, at the threat of becoming ill or losing a loved one to COVID-19. Others—especially those who live alone—became increasingly isolated. These effects were not felt evenly across the BC population. An equitable COVID-19 recovery will tailor mental health supports to reach 2S/LGBTQ+ and other equity-deserving groups.

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Recommendations

  1. Invest in mental health care accessibility, specifically reducing barriers for equity-deserving groups

    For many, accessing mental health care is very challenging. As such, reducing these access barriers and improving access to tailored services, specifically for equity-deserving populations is crucial.

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  2. Integrated responses to mental health and substance use disorders

    High levels of concurrent mental health and substance use disorders may be exacerbated by COVID-19 pandemic. Integrated responses that address concurrent challenges are needed.

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  3. Develop evidence-based policy and practice guidelines for digital mental healthcare and make digital programs and services more accessible and equitable.

    There is a need to develop and disseminate guidelines to support the implementation of digital mental health care and psychosocial support that takes into account the context of delivery. Tailored guidelines are needed to ensure implementation and delivery across settings.

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  4. Better mental health screening and referral pathways

    We recommend improved screening for mental health challenges into primary care practice as well as pathways for people who screen positive to gain rapid access to initial follow-up consultation.

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Research

Members

Dr. Skye Barbic

Dr. Skye Barbic
University of British Columbia
E-mail

Dr. Pierre-julien Coulaud

Dr. Pierre-julien Coulaud
British Columbia Centre on Substance Use
E-mail

Dr. Emily Jenkins

Dr. Emily Jenkins
University of British Columbia
E-mail

Angel Kennedy

Angel Kennedy
Simon Fraser University
E-mail

Dr. Erin Michalak

Dr. Erin Michalak
University of British Columbia
E-mail

Dr. Jill Murphy

Dr. Jill Murphy
University of British Columbia
E-mail

Dr. Chris G. Richardson

Dr. Chris G. Richardson
University of British Columbia
Website

Dr. Travis Salway

Dr. Travis Salway
Simon Fraser University
E-mail

Dr. Hasina Samji

Dr. Hasina Samji
Simon Fraser University
Website

Sarah Watt

Sarah Watt
Simon Fraser University
E-mail

Julia Smith

Julia Smith
Simon Fraser University
Website

How can I help?

Feedback?

Have some ideas? Want to let us know how to improve this resource? We would love to hear from you!

Submit your research

The BCAMMHE is always looking to include other relevant studies to our database.

Contact your MLA

Improving equitable access to mental health means we need to contact our MLAs and raise this issue.

BC Alliance for Monitoring Mental Health Equity respectfully acknowledges that the land on which we work is the unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples, including the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and Səl̓ílwətaʔ (Tsleil-Waututh) First Nations.

BC Alliance for Monitoring Mental Health Equity

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