As COVID-19 (caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2) sweeps the globe causing high morbidity and mortality; psychiatrists, their patients, families, caregivers and healthcare workers face unprecedented rapidly evolving challenges. The WPA Standing Committee on Ethics and Review was asked by the WPA President Helen Herrman to provide guidance on ethical and clinical issues regarding the roles of psychiatrists and the protection of individuals with mental disorders arising from the pandemic.
The Committee recognized that while national/regional differences in circumstances and responses to COVID-19 exist dependent on prevalence and resources; many commonalities are also clear. The human rights of individuals with mental disorders must be protected and appropriate and safe services provided for their treatment. Moreover, the negative impact of the pandemic on government budgets should not be used as an excuse to reduce essential services for people with mental illness during or after the pandemic. Psychiatrists can play important roles in advocating for these measures and in supporting their patients, colleagues and the healthcare system’s response to the pandemic.
Read the full Position Paper HERE
Author: WPA Secretariat