Since the COVID-19 virus first spread throughout the world early this year, many clinical studies to around the world have frantically been trying to find a cure. While the need for a viable treatment is imperative, a team of Alberta researchers are exploring another side caused by this global pandemic.

Dr. Kharah Ross, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Psychology at Athabasca University is leading a study to find out the effects of being isolated during the COVID-19 pandemic. With social distancing rules and restrictions temporarily closing down all non-essential businesses, including bars restaurants, movie theatres and plenty more, how does being forced to be home affect a person’s mental health? That is the question Ross and her team hope to uncover.

“Social distancing is doing a great job at slowing down spreading the virus, but you don’t want to fix one problem only to potentially cause another,” says Ross. “If we can better understand what might be protecting mental health or what might be particularly bad for mental health, the hope is that we can take that back to the people who are making these health decisions and help modify public health strategy.”

The study will involve a online surveys that only take a few minutes to complete. Ross hopes the simplicity is the study will encourage more participation. “The nice thing about this study is that you don’t have to be a particular group of people. Anyone can get involved.”

Participants Needed

This study requires any individual 18 years of age or older in Canada. Participants will answer a series of online surveys throughout the six month study. The first survey is approximately 20 minutes long, with all follow-up surveys between 5-10 minutes.

Those interested in participating can email Dr. Kharah Ross directly at or visit

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