Covid19: Interim Considerations for State Psychiatric Hospitals
Individuals with serious mental illness, particularly those who are older or who have chronic medical conditions, are at risk for illness with Covid-19. It is important that mental health facilities be prepared for Covid-19 to keep both individuals in treatment as well as staff safe.
In addition to consideration of infection control guidelines with the goal of minimizing spread, described below, it is also important to be aware of the psychological impact of quarantine and major disruptions to everyday life. Healthcare workers need to support the mental health of their patients, and they also need attend to their own needs and those of their families. It is important to provide access to accurate information sources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The American Psychiatric Association has resources on the mental health impacts of Covid-19.3 Given the uncertainty and rapid change associated with the virus, anxiety and distress should be anticipated.