COVID-19, mental health and ethnic minorities
Smith, Katharine A
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Katharine Smith, Kamaldeep Bhui, Andrea Cipriani . COVID-19, mental health and ethnic minorities. Evid Based Mental Health July 2020
There is little formal guidance for the busy clinician in balancing different risks for individual mental health patients and treating appropriately. To fill this gap, we propose three core actions that may help: 1. Ensure good information and psychoeducation packages are made available to those with English as a second language, and ensure health beliefs and knowledge are based on the best evidence available. Address culturally grounded explanatory models and illness perceptions to allay fears and worry, and ensure timely access to testing and care if needed. 2. Maintain levels of service, flexibility in care packages, and personal relationships with patients and carers from ethnic minority backgrounds in order to continue existing care and to identify changes needed to respond to worsening of mental health. 3. Consider modifications to existing interventions such as psychological therapies and pharmacotherapy. Have a high index of suspicion to take into account emerging physical health problems and the greater risk of serious consequences of COVID-19 in ethnic minority people with pre-existing chronic conditions and vulnerability factors.