What is it about?

While the very real threat of illness and death from the COVID-19 pandemic was itself traumatic, much of the psychological impact has stemmed from the fear of losing jobs, livelihoods and relationships bound up with them. The social and economic consequences of lockdowns and social distancing measures, such as unemployment, broken relationships and homelessness create potential for inter-generational trauma extending decades into the future. To reduce this impact, we need a non-medical intervention: Universal Basic Income.

Featured Image

Why is it important?

Policymakers need to understand that trauma stems, not just from illness or the threat of illness, but the threat of destitution associated with the pandemic. If we want to deal with trauma, we need to deal with its social and economic bases. In this regard, Universal Basic Income is uniquely valuable.


Government action to address the COVID-19 Pandemic has mitigated mortality and reduced the possibility of intensive care services being overwhelmed. However, it has also created social and economic sources of trauma, heightening potential for unemployment, relationship breakdown and homelessness. Given that psychological and psychiatric services are already stretched in the wake of the Global Financial Crisis and era of austerity, we need to consider means of mitigating this secondary source trauma. It is important that practitioners consider support for Universal Basic Income as a means of enabling people to satisfy their basic needs and plan their lives securely.

Prof Matthew Thomas Johnson
Northumbria University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Mitigating social and economic sources of trauma: The need for universal basic income during the coronavirus pandemic., Psychological Trauma Theory Research Practice and Policy, August 2020, American Psychological Association (APA),
DOI: 10.1037/tra0000739.
You can read the full text:




The following have contributed to this page