Lancet COVID-19 Commission Releases First Report on Pandemic Consequences on Mental Health

A Q&A with Dr Lara Aknin, Chair of the Mental Health Task Force

In June 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continued to escalate, Dr Lara Aknin was invited to a virtual meeting with other academics and public health experts to discuss the launch of the Lancet COVID-19 Commission. Its aim was to offer governments, civil society, and the United Nations practical solutions to the challenges of the pandemic.

Dr Aknin, a Distinguished University Professor of Psychology at Simon Fraser University, was asked to form one of twelve task forces under the Commission. Hers would focus on mental health and wellbeing. She brought together a team of epidemiologists, psychologists, economists, medical doctors, and mental health specialists who began searching for the best available evidence on how COVID-19 has impacted mental health across the world.

In February, the Task Force released a preprint of its first report