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Type: Journal article
Title: Supporting the vulnerable: developing a strategic community mental health response to the COVID-19 pandemic
Author: Thomson, S.
Doan, T.
Liu, D.
Schubert, K.O.
Toh, J.
Boyd, M.A.
Galletly, C.
Citation: Australasian Psychiatry, 2020; 28(5):492-499
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Issue Date: 2020
ISSN: 1039-8562
Statement of
Sumana Thomson, Trung Doan, Dennis Liu, Klaus Oliver Schubert, Julian Toh, Mark A Boyd, Cherrie Galletly
Abstract: Objectives: The COVID-19 pandemic poses significant risks to the vulnerable patient population supported by community mental health (CMH) teams in South Australia. This paper describes a plan developed to understand and mitigate these risks. Methods: Public health and psychiatric literature was reviewed and clinicians in CMH teams and infectious disease were consulted. Key risks posed by COVID-19 to CMH patients were identified and mitigation plans were prepared. Results: A public health response plan for CMH teams was developed to support vulnerable individuals and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. This plan will be reviewed regularly to respond to changes in public health recommendations, research findings and feedback from patients and clinicians. Conclusions: The strategic response plan developed to address risks to vulnerable patients from COVID-19 can assist other CMH services in managing the COVID-19 pandemic.
Keywords: Public health; COVID-19; pandemic; schizophrenia; mental health
Rights: © The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists 2020. Article reuse guidelines: article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License ( which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (
RMID: 1000023951
DOI: 10.1177/1039856220944701
Appears in Collections:Psychiatry publications

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