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The impact of the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental-health services in Europe
ABSTRACT Purpose: The current COVID-19 pandemic confronts psychiatric patients and mental health serv ices with unique and severe challenges. Methods: In order to identify these trans-national challenges across Europe, an ad-hoc survey was conducted among 23 experts, each answering for one European or aligned country. Results: A number of important themes and issues were raised for the impact of COVID-19 on mental health and mental health services, barriers to service provision and future consequences. A number of key issues were reported by colleagues across several jurisdictions, even though these were at different stages of their national epidemics. Conclusions: Based on these findings, we articulate some important learnings from the early stages of the COVID-19 European pandemic, and highlight key considerations for all countries’ mental health services as the current pandemic develops and for future pandemics.