Understanding the mental health impacts of COVID-19 through a trauma lens

Meaghan L. O’Donnell, Talya Greene

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial


This special issue of the European Journal of Psychotraumatology (EJPT) presents the first studies published by EJPT on COVID-19. We present 26 qualitative and quantitative studies assessing the prevalence of trauma-related symptoms and psychopathology within specific vulnerable populations such as health-care workers, students, children, and managers, or more broadly at a country level with a diverse set of outcomes including post-traumatic stress, moral injury, grief and post-traumatic growth. Intervention studies focus on whether telehealth delivery of mental health therapy in the pandemic environment was useful and effective. It is clear that the pandemic has brought with it a rise in trauma exposure and consequently impacted on trauma-related mental health. While for many individuals, COVID-19-related events met criteria for a DSM-5 Criterion A event, challenges remain in disentangling trauma exposure from stress, anxiety, and other phenomena. It is important to determine the contexts in which a trauma lens makes a useful contribution to understanding the mental health impacts of COVID-19 and the ways in which this may facilitate recovery. The papers included in this Special Issue provide an important and much-needed evidence-based foundation for developing trauma-informed understanding and responses to the pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1982502
JournalEuropean Journal of Psychotraumatology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • COVID-19
  • mental health
  • trauma lens
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • COVID-19/epidemiology
  • Pandemics
  • Humans
  • Mental Health
  • Psychopathology
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/psychology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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