From anxiety to PTSD, the consequences of the pandemic for global mental health are profound. Neuropsychiatrist Anthony David explores what we know so far – and what we can do about it.

Anthony David is one of the UK’s leading mental health professionals. As Director of UCL’s Institute for Mental Health, he has dedicated his life to treating illnesses at the edge of human understanding.

Drawing on four decades of study and practice at the forefront of mental healthcare, he joins How To Academy to consider how the pandemic will impact upon the human psyche.

Prof David will explore how policymakers, mental health professionals and individuals can respond to what some experts have dubbed the mental health “tsunami” anticipated after months of lockdown, hospitalisation and bereavement – and in light the coming global recession.

Offering a global as well as local perspective, and taking heed of studies of mental health conducted after the closely related pandemics of SARS and MERS, this livestreamed conversation with broadcaster Matthew Stadlen will offer rich insights into the measures we can take to mitigate against the long-term psychological impact of the still unfolding crisis.

Praise for Anthony David’s book Into the Abyss: a Neuropsychiatrist’s Notes on Troubled Minds:

‘A highly eloquent, fascinating and deeply compassionate book about the continuing mystery of mental illness and the cruel fallacy of seeing it as somehow less real and deserving than so-called physical illness.’ – Henry Marsh CBE

‘I was expecting this to make my brain hurt, but I was immediately hooked on it…A witty, humane and fascinating book.’ – Jo Brand

‘Few are better suited to tell the story of our mental lives than Anthony David. He has written a beautiful, intimate book of the stories he’s seen, one that probes at the nexus of the biological and societal…In his shoes, we get to step into the private realm of the psychiatrist’s office, and often into the lingering questions left in the psychiatrist’s mind.’ – David Eagleman


Matthew Stadlen is an LBC presenter. Previously he wrote The Matthew Stadlen Interview for the Telegraph and presented the TV series Five Minutes With and On The Road With for the BBC. He is a birdwatcher and photographer, and his book How To See Birds is out now from all good bookshops.