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Mental Health of People during COVID-19 and Beyond: The Situation, Adaptation, and Sustainability

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Health, Well-Being and Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2023) | Viewed by 12021

Special Issue Editors


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Sekolah Tinggi Agama Islam Negeri (STAIN) Sorong, Papua Barat 98414, Indonesia
Interests: comparative education; teaching & learning; e-learning; Islamic studies
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
1. Faculty of Management Sciences, ILMA University, Karachi 75190, Pakistan
2. Sekolah Tinggi Ilmu Administrasi Abdul Haris - The Abdul Haris College of Administrative Science, Makassar, Indonesia
Interests: international finance; asset pricing; energy economics; energy management and environmental sciences
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Ratchasuda College, Mahidol University, Nakhon Pathom 73170, Thailand
Interests: social and cognitive development in typical children and children with disability; development of theory of mind and social skills in typical children and children with disability; statistical applications for behavioral and social sciences

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Over the past few years, the COVID-19 outbreak has profoundly impacted many aspects of people’s lives. Many lives were lost during the pandemic, and not only because of the physical impact of COVID-19; mental health has also been affected, and many of those who died chose to commit suicide.

Massive outbreaks of this type of disease are uncommon; it is estimated that they may occur approximately once per century. However, understanding the impact it causes is an academic necessity. This Special Issue seeks to answer questions regarding the mental health situation of different groups of people in various countries throughout the pandemic. It will also address how people adjust to and endure these dire situations. In this regard, it will also investigate those who are unable to adapt and/or survive these kinds of situations, and how can we prepare them or help them to cope if something like this happens again in future. The final question addressed by this Special Issue asks what lessons have we learned from this outbreak, and how can we use them to move towards sustainability again?

This Special Issue will serve as a platform for global empirical data as preliminary information for those interested in further processing, analysis and development of this research area. We hope to receive many valuable contributions from around the world.

Prof. Dr. Kittisak Jermsittiparsert
Prof. Dr. Ismail Suardi Wekke
Prof. Dr. Husam Rjoub
Dr. Parinya Siriattakul
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • mental health
  • psychological health
  • mental well-being
  • COVID-19
  • work–life balance
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • stress
  • fear
  • suicide

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

12 pages, 963 KiB  
Article
Heading for the Frontline: Mood, Stress, Resilience, and Coping of Nursing Graduates during a Global Pandemic
by Victoria R. Terry, Renee L. Parsons-Smith, Jessica Elliott, Geraldine Roderick, Patricia Luyke and Peter C. Terry
Sustainability 2024, 16(4), 1492; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16041492 - 9 Feb 2024
Viewed by 751
Abstract
COVID-19 affected health and wellbeing globally. Graduating nursing students face a variety of stressors, and entering the nursing profession during the pandemic adds additional stress. Using a quantitative cross-sectional design, mood, perceived stress, resilience, and coping were assessed in an Australian sample of [...] Read more.
COVID-19 affected health and wellbeing globally. Graduating nursing students face a variety of stressors, and entering the nursing profession during the pandemic adds additional stress. Using a quantitative cross-sectional design, mood, perceived stress, resilience, and coping were assessed in an Australian sample of 112 graduating nursing students, who completed the Brunel Mood Scale (BRUMS), Perceived Stress Scale (PSS-4), and Brief Resilient Coping Scale (BRCS). Mean BRUMS scores for tension, fatigue, and confusion were significantly above population norms and vigour scores were significantly below. Mean PSS-4 scores were reflective of population norms but showed higher levels of stress among younger and on-campus students compared to those who were older or studied externally. BRCS data showed that 82.1% of graduating nursing students were medium- or high-resilient copers. Mood profiles suggested that 19.6% of participants reported moods associated with mental health issues, 23.2% reported moods associated with risk of burnout, and only 17.9% reported mood profiles associated with positive mental health. High mean tension scores reported by graduating nursing students indicated apprehension about joining the profession, although stress, resilience, and coping scores suggested they were adequately managing the additional stressors generated by the global pandemic. Full article
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23 pages, 1360 KiB  
Article
Mental Health and Quality of Life among University Students with Disabilities: The Moderating Role of Religiosity and Social Connectedness
by Ebrahim A. Al-Shaer, Meqbel M. Aliedan, Mohamed A. Zayed, Musaddag Elrayah and Mohamed A. Moustafa
Sustainability 2024, 16(2), 644; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16020644 - 11 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1471
Abstract
This research paper explores the intricate interplay between mental health (MH), quality of life (QOL), religiosity, and social connectedness among students with disabilities. In the context of a growing awareness of the multifaceted nature of well-being, this study aims to unravel the moderating [...] Read more.
This research paper explores the intricate interplay between mental health (MH), quality of life (QOL), religiosity, and social connectedness among students with disabilities. In the context of a growing awareness of the multifaceted nature of well-being, this study aims to unravel the moderating effects of religiosity and social connectedness on the relationship between mental health and the overall quality of life experienced by students with disabilities. Utilizing Partial Least Squares Structural Equation Modeling (PLS-SEM), this research investigates direct and moderating effects within the proposed conceptual framework. The results indicate that all mental health disorder dimensions (stress, depression, and anxiety) negatively and significantly affect the quality of life of students with disabilities; moreover, the negative impact of stress on QOL is dampened by the moderation effect of social connectedness. Similarly, the negative impact of anxiety on QOL is dampened by the moderation effect of religiosity. However, the findings indicate that social connectedness fails to dampen the negative impact of depression (and anxiety (β = −0.12)) on QOL. Similarly, the findings reveal that religiosity is unable to dampen the negative effect of depression and stress on QOL. These findings’ implications extend to the theoretical and practical domains, informing interventions and support systems aimed at enhancing the overall quality of life of people with disabilities. Full article
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13 pages, 796 KiB  
Article
Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression in Polish Population in the Context of the War in Ukraine: Analysis of Risk Factors and Practical Implications
by Maria Kasierska, Julia Suwalska, Dorota Łojko, Marta Jakubiak-Głowacka, Sławomir Tobis and Aleksandra Suwalska
Sustainability 2023, 15(19), 14230; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151914230 - 26 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1401
Abstract
The aim of the study was to assess the intensity of depressive and anxiety symptoms in those indirectly affected by war in Ukraine and to identify a group of people at particular risk of developing these symptoms. The study encompassed 72 Poles (60 [...] Read more.
The aim of the study was to assess the intensity of depressive and anxiety symptoms in those indirectly affected by war in Ukraine and to identify a group of people at particular risk of developing these symptoms. The study encompassed 72 Poles (60 women and 12 men). The measurements were carried out at three time points: (1) in the first month after the outbreak of Russia’s war against Ukraine, (2) in the second month and (3) after six months of the conflict. During the first and second month, the symptom severity of generalized anxiety (GAD-7) was 9.8 ± 5.2 and 7.0 ± 5.6, state anxiety (STAI-X1) was 48.2 ± 10.4 and 45.2 ± 13.9 and depression (BDI) was 10.4 ± 7.5 and 15.4 ± 12.7. After six months, the symptom severity was statistically significantly lower. Greater symptom severity was observed in women, people with low income, those without a job, those who did not have good relationships with people they were close to, those with sleep problems and those who frequently followed the news and talked about the war. This study indicates that in a crisis situation, mental health screening and the identification of people whose condition requires specialized interventions are necessary. Full article
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19 pages, 1725 KiB  
Article
Methods for Assessing the Psychological Tension of Social Network Users during the Coronavirus Pandemic and Its Uses for Predictive Analysis
by Aida Khakimova, Oleg Zolotarev, Bhisham Sharma, Shweta Agrawal and Sanjiv Kumar Jain
Sustainability 2023, 15(13), 10008; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151310008 - 24 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1099
Abstract
This article address approaches to the development of methods for assessing the psychological state of social network members during the coronavirus pandemic through sentiment analysis of messages. The purpose of the work is to determine the psychological tension index by using a previously [...] Read more.
This article address approaches to the development of methods for assessing the psychological state of social network members during the coronavirus pandemic through sentiment analysis of messages. The purpose of the work is to determine the psychological tension index by using a previously developed thematically ranked dictionary. Researchers have investigated methods to evaluate psychological tension among social network users and to forecast the psychological distress. The approach is novel in the sense that it ranks emojis by mood, considering both the emotional tone of tweets and the emoji’s dictionary meanings. A novel method is proposed to assess the dynamics of the psychological state of social network users as an indicator of their subjective well-being, and develop targeted interventions for help. Based on the ranking of the Emotional Vocabulary Index (EVI) and Subjective Well-being Index (SWI), a scheme is developed to predict the development of psychological tension. The significance lies in the efficient assessment of the fluctuations in the mental wellness of network users as an indication of their emotions and a prerequisite for further predictive analysis. The findings gave a computed value of EVI of 306.15 for April 2022. The prediction accuracy of 88.75% was achieved. Full article
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21 pages, 1274 KiB  
Article
Mental Health and Coping Strategies among University Staff during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Cross–Sectional Analysis from Saudi Arabia
by Tauqeer Hussain Mallhi, Nimra Aslam Khan, Amina Siddique, Muhammad Salman, Syed Nasir Abbas Bukhari, Muhammad Hammad Butt, Faiz Ullah Khan, Mohammad Khalid, Zia Ul Mustafa, Nida Tanveer, Naveed Ahmad, Muhammad Masood Ahmad, Hidayat Ur Rahman and Yusra Habib Khan
Sustainability 2023, 15(11), 8545; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15118545 - 24 May 2023
Viewed by 1691
Abstract
This study examined psychological health and coping strategies among faculty and staff at a Saudi Arabian university. A web-based self-administered survey was used to assess probable anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and coping strategies by using the Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7), Patient [...] Read more.
This study examined psychological health and coping strategies among faculty and staff at a Saudi Arabian university. A web-based self-administered survey was used to assess probable anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and coping strategies by using the Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7), Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R), and Brief-COPE scale, respectively. Of 502 participants (mean age 36.04 ± 10.32 years, male: 66.3%), 24.1% (GAD-7 ≥ 10) had probable anxiety. Anxiety score was significantly higher in females (p < 0.001), those with a history of COVID-19 infection (p = 0.036), and participants with less work experience (p = 0.019). Approximately 40% of participants met the criteria of probable depression, with females (p < 0.001) and participants with less experience having more depressive symptoms. Around one-fourth (27.7%) of study participants indicated probable PTSD (score ≥ 33), with higher symptoms in females (p <0.001), less experienced staff (p < 0.001), and academic staff (p = 0.006). Correlation analysis indicated a significant positive correlation between anxiety and depression (r = 0.844, p < 0.001), anxiety and PTSD (r = 0.650, p < 0.001), and depression and PTSD (r = 0.676, p < 0.001). Active coping, religious/spiritual coping, and acceptance were common coping strategies, while substance use was the least adopted coping method among the study participants. This study indicated a high prevalence of probable psychological ailments among university staff. Full article
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15 pages, 2167 KiB  
Article
Hopelessness among Medical Students Caused Due to COVID-19 Pandemic Linked Educational Hiatus: A Case Study of Bursa Uludag University, Türkiye
by Mevlut Okan Aydin, Guven Ozkaya, Ilker Mustafa Kafa, Shafiul Haque and Zuleyha Alper
Sustainability 2023, 15(4), 3049; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15043049 - 8 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1460
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused disruptions in medical education, leading to feelings of hopelessness among students regarding their medical careers. However, effective institutional crisis-response approaches can mitigate these feelings of hopelessness. This study evaluated changes in the levels of hopelessness among Turkish medical [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused disruptions in medical education, leading to feelings of hopelessness among students regarding their medical careers. However, effective institutional crisis-response approaches can mitigate these feelings of hopelessness. This study evaluated changes in the levels of hopelessness among Turkish medical students due to interruptions in their education caused by the pandemic between March and July 2020, using the Beck Hopelessness Scale in three selected periods. A statistical survey was conducted with a total of 3580 participants in three different periods to study the impact of various contributing factors, such as socio-economic status, family problems, health problems, and lack of working environment, on the levels of hopelessness in conjunction with active COVID-19 cases and the effect of institutional interventions for the continuation of medical education during the pandemic. The analysis revealed a direct relationship between contributing factors and hopelessness scores at the end of the selected three periods. Additionally, active COVID-19 cases and institutional crisis-response strategies were found to be indirectly associated with students’ hopelessness. An increase in students’ hopelessness was found to be related to an increase in active COVID-19 cases in the country, a lack of continuing education practices, and the role of contributing factors. Conversely, a decrease in hopelessness was associated with effective institutional crisis-response strategies. These findings suggest that educational settings dealing with practical subjects should prioritize preparedness for crisis situations. Full article
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10 pages, 238 KiB  
Article
Prevalence of Mental Health Problems among Iraqi University Students during the COVID-19 Pandemic
by Mrywan Abdulmajeed Mohammed and Konul Memmedova
Sustainability 2023, 15(3), 1746; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15031746 - 17 Jan 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2337
Abstract
The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has caused mental and psychological health problems worldwide. The current study assessed the prevalence of mental health issues among university students during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Mental Health Problem Scale (MHPQ) is a 35-item scale including five [...] Read more.
The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has caused mental and psychological health problems worldwide. The current study assessed the prevalence of mental health issues among university students during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Mental Health Problem Scale (MHPQ) is a 35-item scale including five subscales—anxiety, depression, stress, OCD, and sleep disorders. In this study, the Kurdish version of the MHPQ was designed and developed to assess the mental health of Iraqi students. This version was established in a cross-sectional study at three public and private universities in Iraqi Kurdistan. A sample of 1504 university students was included who provided their responses via a Google Form questionnaire. The reliability of the scale was determined by measuring the Cronbach’s alpha and item–total correlations. The Cronbach’s alpha internal consistency coefficients of mental health were calculated on a factor basis. The Cronbach’s alpha values were determined to be 0.735 for “anxiety”, 0.780 for “depression”, 0.731 for “stress”, 0.707 for “OCD” and 0.731 for “sleep disorder”. As a result, the psychometric results show that the Mental Health Scale can be used as a valid and reliable assessment tool. According to the findings of the study, the COVID-19 pandemic has increased mental health problems among people worldwide, particularly university students. This research was limited to select participants and universities of Sulaimani Governorate of Iraq; therefore, it is highly recommended that future studies include more students and universities from the Iraqi Kurdistan region. Finally, it is recommended that the Ministry of Higher Education and universities review the university programs and develop the quality of study to reduce mental health problems among university students. The findings of this research show that there were differences between the mental health of the study’s male and female participants. The analysis revealed a statistically significant relationship between gender and OCD scores (p = 0.05). Full article
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