Special lssues

Local Policy Responses in Relation to Mental Health Issues during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Submission Deadline: 31 December 2022 (closed)

Guest Editors

Prof. Wei Liu, Qingdao University, China
Prof. Xiao-Guang Yue, European University Cyprus, Cyprus
Prof. M. James C. Crabbe, Wolfson College, Oxford University, UK


The pandemic caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has had and will continue to have serious impacts on the physical and mental health of people in all regions of the world. The outbreaks of COVID-19 have shown a high degree of heterogeneity and regional concentration, which has significant consequences for local policy implementations. Governments in infected areas have introduced a number of restrictive measures, such as school closures, workplace closures, restrictions on gathering sizes, restrictions on internal movement, and restrictions on international travel. However, while rightly intended to protect individuals’ physical health from viral attacks, these measures may exacerbate mental health issues, which may stem from pressures due to changes in work scenarios, mental fear due to the severity of the pandemic, and mental anxiety due to economic depression and income decline. Some governments have recognized the continuous negative impact of the pandemic on individuals’ mental health and implemented a series of measures from the perspectives of economic assistance, social services, and psychological crisis interventions.


Under these circumstances, there is an unprecedented opportunity for scholars to evaluate the effects of local policies, from both positive and negative perspectives, on individual mental health issues. We need to know from the experiences of COVID-19 the extent to which containment measures can have mental health side effects, what measures can better address mental health issues, and what economic, institutional, and spatial characteristics influence mental health policy developments and implementation by local governments. This understanding is particularly important as the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to continue for a long time and other similar crises may well occur in the future. Indeed, this special issue not only seeks high-quality submissions that provide significant contributions, whether theoretical or empirical, to favor a better understanding of the effects of local policies on mental health in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, but also encourage authors to provide scholars and policy makers with analyses and predictions that go beyond the current pandemic.


The topics of interest for the special issue include, but not limited to, the following:

The negative impacts of local containment policies on mental health

The effects and implications of mental health policies

Comparing the efficacy of local policies over different regions

Economic, institutional, and spatial determinants that may influence mental health policy development and implementation

The impact of the epidemic characteristics and trends on the implementation of local policies

Institutional innovation for mental health during and after the pandemic

Innovative technologies used by local governments in response to mental health

Published Papers

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