The Phased Approach to COVID-19 Mental Health Response (PAC) is a framework for COVID-19 mental health response developed by ADAA members Drs. Sheila Rauch, Naomi Simon, and Barbara Rothbaum to aid in responding to and planning for mental health impacts of the current pandemic. The framework attempts to provide key directions on the required response over time as this will likely be an ongoing stressor for coming months and across the wide range and severity of impact. The framework aims to concisely summarize points for program design and point to available protocols and resources when available. For specific areas where previous resources have not been specified, they relied on evidence informed practice to create brief interventions (mask desensitization, self-directed difficult experience exposure, and assessment protocol with brief intervention for a MH provider). The authors intend that this framework will be updated as we learn more about COVID-19 mental health response and new resources become available.
Sheila A.M. Rauch, Ph.D., ABPP, is a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Emory University School of Medicine. She led design and now serves as Deputy Director of the Emory Healthcare Veterans Program and Director of Mental Health Research and Program Evaluation at the VA Atlanta Healthcare System. Dr. Rauch has been developing programs, conducting research and providing PTSD and Anxiety Disorders treatment for over 20 years. Her research focuses on examination of mechanisms involved in the development and treatment of PTSD and improving access to effective interventions. She has led several PTSD treatment outcome and mechanisms trials funded through VA/DOD and other sources and has been training providers in PTSD treatment since 2000 including working with a team to establish a PTSD training network in Japan following the triple disaster in 2011. She has published scholarly articles, chapters, and books on anxiety disorders and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) focusing on neurobiology and factors involved in the development, maintenance, and treatment of anxiety disorders, psychosocial factors in medical settings, and the relation between physical health and anxiety. She is an author of the new Prolonged Exposure manual to be released by Oxford University Press in August of 2019. Dr. Rauch has been involved in the modification and adaptation of proven psychotherapeutic interventions for anxiety disorders for various populations and settings, including primary care. She is a fellow of the Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapy (ABCT), was granted membership in the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, and serves as a member of the Board of Directors and Scientific Council of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.