The mental health crisis during the COVID-19 pandemic in older adults and the role of physical distancing interventions and social protection measures in 26 European countries

The COVID-19 pandemic has been associated with substantial mental health deterioration exhibiting social inequalities. Adverse mental health has been exacerbated by policy responses to the pandemic regulating physical distancing, but social protection expenditure might have helped mitigate the impact. Strengthening social protection systems might render the mental health of the population more resilient to the consequences of crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic.