Media Briefings

The mental health toll of COVID-19

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Wednesday, May 12, at 2:00pm EDT

Even as communities shift their focus toward recovery and reopening, the lasting effects of a year’s worth of pandemic-imposed pressures on mental health—sickness, isolation, fear, loss—are still emerging. SciLine’s next media briefing will cover the current and potential long-term mental health consequences of COVID-19 for adults; its impacts on child development and emotional wellbeing; and the race-based and other mental health disparities exacerbated by the pandemic. Expert panelists will brief reporters and then take questions on the record.


  • Dr. Karestan Koenen, Harvard University
  • Dr. Sheri Madigan, University of Calgary
  • Dr. Ruth Shim, UC Davis
  • SciLine’s director, Rick Weiss, will moderate the briefing.

Register for the briefing:

Dr. Karestan Koenen

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Dr. Karestan C. Koenen, a clinical psychologist, epidemiologist, and author, is professor of psychiatric epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, where she aims to reduce the population burden of mental disorders through research, training, and advocacy. At Harvard, Dr. Koenen leads the National Institute of Mental Health-funded Harvard Training Program in Psychiatric Genetics and Translational Research, and the Interdisciplinary Concentration in Population Mental Health. Dr. Koenen is past president of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies and an elected fellow in the American Psychopathological Association. Dr. Koenen has received several awards recognizing her research achievements including the Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Science of Trauma Psychology from the American Psychological Association, Division 56, and the Robert S. Laufer Memorial Award from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. (Read full bio.)

Dr. Sheri Madigan

University of Calgary

Dr. Sheri Madigan holds a Canada Research Chair in Determinants of Child Development and is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Calgary. Dr. Madigan’s research seeks to isolate the central determinants of child and youth development. She is primarily focused on understanding how social stressors and adversities can influence child socio-emotional development. She is also interested in understanding why some mothers, children, and youth show resilience to these stressors and adversities while others remain vulnerable. Her research aims to contribute to empirical research that explores the multifold determinants of children’s health and development. (Read full bio.)

Dr. Ruth Shim

University of California, Davis

Dr. Ruth Shim is the Luke & Grace Kim Professor in Cultural Psychiatry and professor of clinical psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of California, Davis. She also serves as associate dean of diverse and inclusive education at the University of California, Davis School of Medicine. Dr. Shim’s research focuses on mental health disparities and inequities, and she provides clinical psychiatric care in the UC Davis Early Diagnosis and Preventative Treatment Clinic. She is a member of the board of trustees of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the American Association for Community Psychiatry. She serves on the research and evaluation committee of the California Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission. (Read full bio.)