Mental Health and COVID19: How the Pandemic Complicates Current Gaps in Care and What Can Be Done


May 6, 2020 • Webinar

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has created new challenges and aggravated existing obstacles to mental health care and well-being. Individuals, families, and communities nationwide are grappling with financial insecurity, increased difficulty accessing mental health and substance use care, and an elevated level of overall stress and anxiety. This pandemic also threatens to widen existing disparities in access, treatment, and recovery for mental illness and substance use disorders. All of this culminates into a possible “second wave” of rising mental anguish, addiction, and social dislocation.

The discussion focused on the unique challenges for mental health in the wake of COVID-19. Attendees learned about current advocacy efforts to improve the mental health system, what specialized resources in response to the pandemic have been released to date, and what else may be needed.


  • Wendy Ellis, PhD, Project Director, Building Community Resilience
    Sumner M. Redstone Global Center for Prevention and Wellness
  • Jill Harkavy-Friedman, PhD, Vice President of Research
    American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
  • Benjamin Miller, PsyD, Chief Strategy Officer
    Well Being Trust


  • John M. Auerbach, MBA, President and CEO
    Trust for America’s Health