Written by Professor Jennifer Tieman, Director, RePaDD
Each year over 40,000 Australians will develop chronic and debilitating mental health impairments following the death of a family member or close friend. The impacts of bereavement during the COVID-19 pandemic are as yet unknown though there are a number of potential contributing risk factors relating to bereavement arising from public health measures such as physical distancing, travel restrictions, limiting visitors and reducing physical contact.
A national research team led by Professor Elizabeth Lobb supported by the University of Technology Sydney is undertaking the National COVID-19 Bereavement Project, funded by the Medical Research Future Fund. This study aims to track the mental health outcomes and service needs of over 2,000 Australians bereaved from any cause during 2020.
The evidence generated from this study will generate a series of policy, practice, education and research recommendations to ensure that the Australian mental health system has the supports and flexibility to be most effective and responsive during and following COVID-19.
This study will quantify the personal, societal and economic impact of a pandemic such as COVID-19 on bereavement mental health outcomes; and identify complementary strategies that will improve national pandemic bereavement mental health outcomes and reduce health care costs. It will provide a key step towards a national and holistic policy framework that will support consumers, health practitioners and the wider community to improve the mental health and quality of life for the bereaved.
Take part in the study
Flinders University through the RePaDD Centre is part of the national research team and we invite you to take part in this important research study that explores the experiences and support needs of people bereaved from any cause during the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you feel ready to reflect on your experience, participation in the study will consist of a 30-minute anonymous online survey that asks about your experience of bereavement, the kind of support (if any) you have received and wanted, what has been most helpful and least helpful for you, and any other comments you would like to make.
If you would like to find out more about the study you can visit the National COVID-19 Bereavement Study website at https://www.lossandgriefduringcovid19.com/study-information.html