COVID-19 social control measures (e.g. physical distancing and lockdowns) can have both immediate (social isolation, loneliness, anxiety, stress) and long-term effects (depression, post-traumatic stress disorder) on individuals’ mental health. This may be particularly true of adolescents living with HIV (ALHIV) and their caregivers–populations already overburdened by intersecting stressors (e.g. psychosocial, biomedical, familial, economic, social, or environmental). Addressing the adverse mental health sequelae of COVID-19 among ALHIV requires a multi-dimensional approach that at once (a) economically empowers ALHIV and their households and (b) trains, mentors, and supervises community members as lay mental health services providers. Mental health literacy programming can also be implemented to increase mental health knowledge, reduce stigma, and improve service use among ALHIV. Schools and HIV care clinics offer ideal environments for increasing mental health literacy and improving access to mental health services.
- mental health
- sub-Saharan Africa
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health