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Monica Mathys, PharmD, BCGP, BCPP
CPNP Recertification Editorial Board

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a global event which has highlighted the need for mental health treatment across the world. In addition, many natural disasters such as wildfires and hurricanes are occurring, displacing people from their homes and significantly interrupting their daily lives. These situations have also impacted the mental health of much of the population by increasing stress response which can lead to either a new diagnosis of a stress related disorder (e.g., acute stress disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)) or an exacerbation of symptoms for those that already have an existing mental health disorder.1 Based on past studies, alcohol use, PTSD, anxiety, depression, anger, fear of contagion, and distrust are a few of the immediate and long-term effects that can develop for those involved in a pandemic or natural disaster.1,2

The 2022 CPNP Annual Meeting will kick-off with a presentation from Dr. John Naslund, PhD who will be addressing health promotion strategies during pandemics and natural disasters. This presentation will cover a crucial and timely topic as health care professionals continue to deal with the mental health consequences of COVID-19 and disasters.

Specific objectives for Dr. Naslund’s session include:

  • Identify common mental health consequences that occur for the general population during and after a pandemic or natural disaster.
  • Assess the effects of interventions targeted to improve resilience and mental health during and after a pandemic or natural disaster.
  • Develop a plan on how to implement mental health wellness interventions for the general population during and after a pandemic or natural disaster.

Dr. John Naslund, PhD is currently an instructor of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School. His research interests include addressing early mortality that disproportionately impacts individuals living with serious mental illnesses worldwide and reducing the global treatment gap for mental disorders using novel digital methods. Dr. Naslund has been involved in several projects funded by the NIH and CDC to develop and implement programs for vulnerable patient groups in the United States, Haiti, Colombia, and India and his work has been published in multiple peer-reviewed journals including Lancet Psychiatry, New England Journal of Medicine, American Journal of Preventive Medicine, and Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences.


  1. Esterwood E, Saeed SA. Past epidemics, natural disasters, COVID 19, and mental health: learning from history as we deal with the present and prepare for the future. Psychiatric Quarterly 2020; Aug 16. doi: 10.1007/s11126-020-09808-4.
  2. Marazziti D, Cianconi P, Mucci F, et al. Climate change, environment pollution, COVID-19 pandemic and mental health. Science of the Total Environment 2021; 773: 145182. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.145182.
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