Mental health and clinical psychological science in the time of COVID-19: Challenges, opportunities, and a call to action.

June Gruber, Mitchell J. Prinstein, Lee Anna Clark, Jonathan Rottenberg, Jonathan S. Abramowitz, Anne Marie Albano, Amelia Aldao, Jessica L. Borelli, Tammy Chung, Joanne Davila, Erika E. Forbes, Dylan G. Gee, Gordon C.Nagayama Hall, Lauren S. Hallion, Stephen P. Hinshaw, Stefan G. Hofmann, Steven D. Hollon, Jutta Joormann, Alan E. Kazdin, Daniel N. KleinAnnette M. La Greca, Robert W. Levenson, Angus W. MacDonald, Dean McKay, Katie A. McLaughlin, Jane Mendle, Adam Bryant Miller, Enrique W. Neblett, Matthew Nock, Bunmi O. Olatunji, Jacqueline B. Persons, David C. Rozek, Jessica L. Schleider, George M. Slavich, Bethany A. Teachman, Vera Vine, Lauren M. Weinstock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

382 Scopus citations


COVID-19 presents significant social, economic, and medical challenges. Because COVID-19 has already begun to precipitate huge increases in mental health problems, clinical psychological science must assert a leadership role in guiding a national response to this secondary crisis. In this article, COVID-19 is conceptualized as a unique, compounding, multidimensional stressor that will create a vast need for intervention and necessitate new paradigms for mental health service delivery and training. Urgent challenge areas across developmental periods are discussed, followed by a review of psychological symptoms that likely will increase in prevalence and require innovative solutions in both science and practice. Implications for new research directions, clinical approaches, and policy issues are discussed to highlight the opportunities for clinical psychological science to emerge as an updated, contemporary field capable of addressing the burden of mental illness and distress in the wake of COVID-19 and beyond.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)409-426
Number of pages18
JournalAmerican Psychologist
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • clinical psychological science
  • clinical psychology
  • COVID-19
  • mental health
  • treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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