SCIENTISTS from Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) have launched the first major study of its kind to investigate what impact the coronavirus measures are having on Scotland’s mental health.

Over the next three months, four leading psychology researchers will analyse the effects of lockdown and quarantine on the wellbeing of the public.

They want people from all backgrounds, living in Scotland and over the age of 18, to sign up on the web page before midnight on Tuesday.

Participants will be asked to fill in a 20-minute online survey, followed by a series of 10-minute questionnaires over the next three months.

Data from the confidential survey will be used to help healthcare professionals develop ways of supporting people during and after the pandemic.

It will also go some way towards helping policymakers find out what impact the restrictions are having on people’s mental health.

The investigation is being led by GCU head of psychology Dr Kerri McPherson and senior lecturer in applied health psychology Dr Kareena McAloney-Kocaman.

They will be supported by lecturer Dr Birgit Schroeter and researcher Pia Faeth, working in collaboration with Professor Cherie Armour and Dr Emily McGlinchey, from Queen’s University Belfast.

“We hope to be able to identify things that will help with resilience for our mental health and things that are risk factors for mental health conditions so that we can support people better,” said McAloney-Kocaman.

“We are encouraging as many people as possible, living in Scotland and over the age of 18, to sign up to this survey.

“The more people we have and the more from different backgrounds we have filling in this survey the better we will be able to understand how this pandemic is impacting on wellbeing.

“This research presents a unique opportunity for psychologists to understand how people in Scotland are impacted by the current pandemic, and will allow us to better understand how the impact on people changes as the situation within the UK and Scotland does.

“This will be important not only in supporting people through the Covid 19 pandemic, but in understanding and supporting people across a range of stressful situations.”

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