Preferred policy options to assist post-COVID-19 mental health recovery: A population study

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The aim of this study was to gauge the opinions of people in Australia about policies to help them recover from the consequences of COVID-19 pandemic and its associated restrictions. An anonymous online survey of people aged 18 years and older in Australia was available from 1 July to 31 August 2020. It included 16 proposed policies which respondents rated as ‘Not at all helpful’, ‘Somewhat helpful’, or ‘Very helpful’ in assisting them recover from the COVID-19 restrictions. In all, 9220 people completed the survey. The most endorsed policy was ‘To have a publicly available plan about management of future pandemics’ which was rated as ‘very helpful’ by 46.1% of respondents. Four other policies were rated as ‘very helpful’ by more than 30% of respondents: two related to mental health support, one to individual financial support for living expenses, and one to support for community organisations. Government preparedness for future pandemics and support for mental health, individual finance, and community organisations should be policy priorities in the post-COVID-19 recovery phase. The findings can guide policy development to support people in Australia as they recover from COVID-19 and the restrictions that have been imposed to control its spread.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11
Number of pages424
JournalAustralian Journal of Public Administration
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021


  • COVID-19
  • mental health
  • policy
  • population
  • recovery

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