Health Call to watch for psychosis increase as COVID-19 stresses pile up

Call to watch for psychosis increase as COVID-19 stresses pile up

While the mental health consequences of social distancing restrictions triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic have been well covered, experts fear the smaller but more severe spectrum of mental health conditions are being overlooked.

Researchers at Orygen and La Trobe University say we can expect an increase in psychosis as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

After reviewing studies from previous health epidemics, La Trobe University’s Professor Richard Gray says first psychosis episodes often occur in similar situations of heightened social stress.

“This is a group that’s probably going to need more support with isolation, physical distancing, hand washing,” he said.

The team has also warned that people with psychosis present a major challenge and potential infection control risk to the clinical teams working with them.

Professor Gray has recommended specialised infection control procedures for health care workers and service providers working with people with psychosis.

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