Need an Expert? COVID-19, mental health and the holidays

Posted on Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Woman wearing festive sweater alone surrounded by Christmas presents and a computer

Members of the media may directly contact the following experts: 

The holidays can be a time of increased mental health risks (anxiety, depression, seasonal affective disorder, alcohol/substance use and other factors) for some, and the COVID-19 pandemic could add a major pressure to the festive season.

Ivy Lynn Bourgeault (English only)

Full Professor, Faculty of Social Sciences, and holder of University Research Chair in Gender, Diversity and the Professions.

Professor Bourgeault recently received national funding to research mental health and substance use in relation to COVID-19.

Cynthia Abraham (English and French)

Professional Counsellor, Faculty Wellness Program, Faculty Affairs, Faculty of Medicine.

Simon Hatcher (English only)

Acting Chair and Full Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine. 

Président par intérim à la recherche et professeur titulaire, département de psychiatrie, Faculté de médecine.

Dr. Hatcher recently received national funding to study patients who test positive or negative for Covid-19 to detect and provide early treatment for mental health disorders.

Kerri Ritchie (English only)

Professional practice coordinator of Psychology at The Ottawa Hospital and Clinical Professor, School of Psychology, University of Ottawa.

Dr. Ritchie recently published an article in The Conversation Canada providing perspective on COVID-19’s mental toll during the holiday season.


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