Public mental health and bereavement during the COVID-19 pandemic

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In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, hundreds of thousands of lives have been lost globally, leaving millions bereaved. This forum will discuss how public health measures can be deployed to provide support for the bereaved, especially in a context where traditional burial practices have been derailed due to the physical distancing necessary to control the spread of the outbreak.

Learning objectives:

  1. List the unique factors associated with bereavement during COVID-19
  2. Identify evidence-based public mental health measures for managing stress and supporting well-being
  3. Describe the mechanisms of adaptation among the bereaved


Dr. Christy A. Denckla is a Research Associate at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and a Research Fellow at the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. Her research aims to understand the impact of adversity and bereavement on psychological functioning and well-being, as well as the mechanisms that appear to drive adaptation. Dr. Denckla’s work on childhood bereavement is funded by an early career K23 grant from the National Institute of Mental Health. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship in Psychiatric Epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and her clinical internship at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School. Her doctoral research was completed at Adelphi University in New York.

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