Progression of Mental Health Services during the COVID-19 Outbreak in China

Int J Biol Sci. 2020 Mar 15;16(10):1732-1738. doi: 10.7150/ijbs.45120. eCollection 2020.


The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has been rapidly transmitted in China, Macau, Hong Kong, and other Asian and European counterparts. This COVID-19 epidemic has aroused increasing attention nationwide. Patients, health professionals, and the general public are under insurmountable psychological pressure which may lead to various psychological problems, such as anxiety, fear, depression, and insomnia. Psychological crisis intervention plays a pivotal role in the overall deployment of the disease control. The National Health Commission of China has summoned a call for emergency psychological crisis intervention and thus, various mental health associations and organizations have established expert teams to compile guidelines and public health educational articles/videos for mental health professionals and the general public alongside with online mental health services. In addition, mental health professionals and expert groups are stationed in designated isolation hospitals to provide on-site services. Experts have reached a consensus on the admission of patients with severe mental illness during the COVID-19 outbreak in mental health institutions. Nevertheless, the rapid transmission of the COVID-19 has emerged to mount a serious challenge to the mental health service in China.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety
  • Betacoronavirus*
  • COVID-19
  • China / epidemiology
  • Coronavirus Infections / epidemiology
  • Coronavirus Infections / psychology*
  • Depression
  • Disease Outbreaks
  • Fear
  • Humans
  • Mental Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Mental Health*
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / psychology*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders