Dorset residents are being encouraged to take part in a survey exploring the psychological impact of coronavirus on our emotions, behaviour and wellbeing.

Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust are leading the collaboration group which includes Dorset HealthCare. The study is aiming to better understand how the virus and the lockdown are impacting our day to day lifestyles.

Dr Ciaran Newell, facilitator of research and development at Dorset HealthCare, said: "We are pleased to be involved in this global survey, which is being led by Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust. We would encourage local people, over the age of 16, to take part so that we can get a better understanding of how the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown has impacted everyone in Dorset."

The study is available to access online and should take about 15 minutes to complete. The questionnaire will ask about wellbeing, ways of coping, loneliness and any experiences of mental health difficulties participants may had had in the past or are experiencing currently. Questions can be skipped and all answers will remain anonymous.

Professor Shanaya Rathod, consultant psychiatrist & director of research at Southern Health said: "The global impact of COVID-19 will be felt by us for a long time. Our study aims to investigate the psychological impact of COVID-19 on general population, healthcare workers, patients with COVID-19 and individuals with vulnerabilities."

The study will be global to mirror the scale of the coronavirus pandemic and is being shared by partners across the world, including Canada, India, Greece, Singapore and Holland, to name a few.

The study aims to not only look at how the virus has impacted on our own mental health across the UK but also to compare it to others from different countries.

Professor Rathod added: "The global platform and use of validated questionnaires allows the study to assess the wider impact of culture, political landscapes and impact of different responses in different countries.

"As a result we will be able to understand and strengthen our ongoing responses and those for any future crisis.”

For more information on the survey and to participate, visit www.southernhealth.nhs/research.