ProjectsInternational Public Policy ObservatoryC-19 Population Mental Health
COVID-19 and Population Mental Health: A systematic review

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Start Date: 1st Jan 2022

End Date: 30th October 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic and related mitigation responses have impacted social, financial, and economic spheres at a global level. An increase in the incidence of mental health problems at population level has been reported against this backdrop. Although, population initiatives to mitigate the mental health problems arisen from the COVID-19 pandemic and other crises have been described in the literature they have not always been synthesised in a way that can directly inform policy decision-making. Consequently, policy calls to identify effective interventions to address poor mental health exacerbated by the pandemic at population level continue to be made. 

To meet this policy demand for collated evidence, IPPO is conducting a systematic review of international evidence to answer the following question: What are the most effective, scalable interventions to address widespread mental health issues that have surfaced during the COVID-19 pandemic?

This will entail conducting a multi-component systematic review examining: 

  • the nature and extent of mental health issues arising during covid-19 (RQ 1) and 
  • the evidence on the effectiveness of mental health interventions delivered at-scale (RQ 2).  

To achieve these objectives, we will provide an overview of systematic review-level evidence to answer RQ1 before considering primary research evaluations to answer RQ2.

Stakeholder Engagement
We will engage with members of our steering group and other stakeholders to inform development of the systematic review, including: refinement of specific research questions, methods for synthesising evidence of complex intervention to inform scale-up, and interpretation of its findings.

Further information will be posted on this page as we continue to develop this project. For enquiries about this work, please contact Kelly Dickson ( or Rosa Mendizabal-Espinosa (

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