Operational Considerations for Psychiatric Hospitals, Inpatient Units, and Other Psychiatric Institutions during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Mental health conditions include a range of mental, neurological, and substance use (MNS) disorders and their associated psychosocial, cognitive and intellectual disabilities. The direct and indirect consequences of the pandemic impact these conditions in many ways. People living in psychiatric hospitals, inpatient units, and other psychiatric institutions are likely to need special attention during disease outbreaks such as COVID-19.
SARS-CoV-2 can spread rapidly within congregate residential settings, especially complex residential settings such as psychiatric hospitals. Congregate care facilities can increase the risk of COVID-19 transmission. In addition, people with mental health conditions often have medical comorbidities some of which may increase the risk of developing severe illness following COVID-19 infection. Mental health services in general hospitals and crisis intervention units take care of acute cases. All treatment facilities for people with mental disorders need to adhere to the prevailing procedures for other inpatient units in hospitals, following national and international guidelines.

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