What is it about?

The way that leaders communicate with the public during disaster situations shapes behavior and affects mental health. Psychiatrists are poised to be leaders in the field of crisis communication to promote mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic, but their role in doing so has not been well-elucidated. This article, highlighting newly published guidelines from the APA Committee on Psychiatric Dimensions of Disaster, aims to outline how psychiatrists can be effective leaders in public messaging and crisis communication.

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Why is it important?

Little attention has been paid to the importance of public messaging in improving mental health. With expertise in communication, human behavior, and medicine, psychiatry is uniquely positioned to lead during the COVID-19 pandemic; yet the role of psychiatrists in crisis communication is rarely highlighted.

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This page is a summary of: Psychiatry and Crisis Communication During COVID-19: A View From the Trenches, Psychiatric Services, May 2021, American Psychiatric Association, DOI: 10.1176/appi.ps.202000912.
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