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Emma PeConga talks about resilience in this Right as Rain article. Lori Zoellner is her advisor.

What Comes After a Pandemic? Resilience, According to Psychologists


By now, most of us have realized the pandemic isn’t going away anytime soon. And that can be a discouraging thought. 

You’ve probably seen alarming headlines about how the mental health toll of the pandemic will be high. It’s true that some people may develop long-term mental health issues as a result of the pandemic — and some are experiencing mental health issues already. 

However, the future looks brighter than you might think. Most of us will probably be OK long-term, experts say. Here are some myths debunked about post-pandemic mental health.

Myth 1: Most of us will struggle mentally

The pandemic presented us with an uncertain and unprecedented situation. Still, most people (even those who are struggling right now) probably won’t go on to develop long-term mental illness, says Emma PeConga, a doctoral student in psychology at the University of Washington.

PeConga recently authored a commentary on the subject in a scientific journal about trauma. As the commentary explains, resilience is how people have overwhelmingly responded long-term after other widespread traumatic events, like the 9/11 attacks or the 2003 SARS outbreak. 

“A majority of people, even first responders, went on to develop resilience,” she says.

Read the entire article here.