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Coping intelligently with global public mental health threats means resolving challenges at an individual and societal level by efficiently utilizing professional expertise and critical thinking. The philosophical underpinning of coping with pandemic and infodemic stress facilitates clarity regarding the ...

Coping intelligently with global public mental health threats means resolving challenges at an individual and societal level by efficiently utilizing professional expertise and critical thinking. The philosophical underpinning of coping with pandemic and infodemic stress facilitates clarity regarding the course of public mental health actions to navigate immediate and forthcoming complex situations, such as those arising from the global crisis caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2 and coronavirus disease (COVID-19). To cope efficiently with global challenges, professional public mental health communities need to promote a culture of awareness and preparedness for pandemics, as well as infodemics (including the global spread of distorted news, false information, and statistical simulations based on biased expert opinions). Indeed, evidence suggests that during a pandemic, the general public, politicians, medical experts, and governments are vulnerable to deepfakes, such as deliberate misinformation, and public mental health risks involving fear, panic, xenophobic attitudes (e.g., scapegoating), and racial biases. Further, societal responses demonstrate that damage caused by the widespread infodemic exceeds the pandemic’s biomedical impact. For example, mass fear and anxiety instilled by confusion and distrust in the ability to cope with a crisis on an individual and group level results in negative impacts to mental health. The emergency situation caused by a pandemic will pass, but the psychosocial consequences will remain long-term, and their impact on human lives will depend on our efforts to build personal and societal adequate expertise based on coping intelligence and resilience, in addressing unforeseen challenges.

The aim of this Research Topic is to provide a unique opportunity for an interdisciplinary article collection that welcomes contributions from public mental health professionals, psychologists, sociologists, epidemiologists, science methodologists, philosophers, AI researchers, and digital mass media experts. The goal is to share conceptual insights and practical guidelines to develop successful mental health coping strategies during times of uncertainty and global challenges. Specifically, this Research Topic will focus on successful coping strategies in the area of public mental health implemented at any level - individual, national, regional, and global.

The Research Topic welcomes Original Research, Reviews, Mini Reviews, Systematic Reviews, Research Protocol, Policy and Practice Reviews, Perspectives, Brief Research Reports, Opinion, Hypothesis and Theory, Opinion Papers, Study Concepts, General Commentaries and Registered Reports. Submissions may address methodological, theoretical, and practical issues using quantitative and qualitative methodologies, big data analytics, and individual and global case studies. We are particularly interested in contributions with high level of originality that include, but are not limited to, the following themes:
- Predictive models of coping with pandemics and infodemic stress with variable future public mental health outcomes;
- Building coping competencies to prevent psychosocial consequences of pandemic-related disasters;
- Strategies and resources employed by professional communities and the general public to cope with challenging ethical and philosophical dilemmas surrounding pandemic emergencies;
- Efficient self-supporting coping strategies including targeted art therapy, positive emotional engagement via helpful social networks, building resilient mental health resources;
- Destructive strategies associated with mass media’s impact on increasing fear, panic, xenophobic attitudes, and racial biases;
- InnovativeSmart technology implementation for social reintegration and mental health setbacks induced by forced physical isolation;
- Critical thinking and educational efforts to overcome pandemic and post-pandemic difficulties;
- Infodemic deepfakes as a threat to public mental health and individual well-being;
- Digital humanities solutions based on AI, big data, & machine learning to cope efficiently with pandemic and infodemic consequences;
- Identifying benchmarking for Sustainable Development Goals within the relevant public mental health domains in pandemic and infodemic context;
- Best practices in knowledge translation to build a culture of awareness and preparedness for future public health threats.

Keywords: Coping with pandemic stress, Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), coping with infodemic stress, global challenges, multidisciplinary perspective, public mental health, mental health surveillance, sustainable well-being, personal safety


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