The coronavirus pandemic could have a “profound” effect on people’s mental health – now and in the future, say psychiatrists and psychologists who are calling for urgent research.

Writing in The Lancet Psychiatry, they say smartphones should be used to monitor mental health in real time.

They say support would need to be tailored to specific groups, such as children and frontline health workers.

Surveys suggest anxiety and isolation are already affecting the public.

Mental-health charity Mind said people were already struggling to access the support they needed.

Twenty-four leading mental-health experts want widespread “moment-to-moment” monitoring of the mental health of the population so that effective tools and support can be designed quickly to help people at home.

“Increased social isolation, loneliness, health anxiety, stress and an economic downturn are a

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