Expert Alert: Mental Health and COVID-19

Sep 24, 2020

A UMD researcher offers ways to cope with fear and anxiety about COVID-19.

University of Minnesota Duluth expert Viann Nguyen-Feng is available to comment on COVID-19's impact and the mental stress related to loss of jobs, access to financial support, cultural and societal losses, and social and health policies, such as physical/social distancing.

Viann Nguyen-Feng

Viann Nguyen-Feng

"Around the world, as the COVID-19 pandemic expands, people are reporting depression, anxiety, insomnia, acute stress and other symptoms. As the pandemic continues into 2021, the negative impacts on mental health may increase. Coping measures will help people survive the worst phases of the virus and possible social, cultural, psychological, and economic difficulties as the earth's population recovers." In addition to mental and physical health connections, Nguyen-Feng is available to comment on mind-body trauma interventions (e.g., trauma-sensitive yoga) and their integration into community settings. Her trauma-related work includes interpersonal traumas such as emotional abuse.

About Viann Nguyen-Feng

Viann Nguyen-Feng portrait

Nguyen-Feng is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Minnesota Duluth. She serves as core faculty in the counseling/clinical psychology master's program, and directs the Mind-Body Trauma Care Lab, where her research focuses on the intersection of mental and physical health as well as mind-body integration, particularly in the context of trauma care. Nguyen-Feng has embarked on research about COVID-19 and the connection to mind and body trauma.

Her work has been featured in publications such as Psychology Today, and several APA journals, including the Journal of Counseling Psychology, Spirituality in Clinical Practice, Psychological Services, Psychology of Women Quarterly, and Psychology of Violence. Her work will also be featured in upcoming issues of Psychological Trauma and Integrative and Complementary Medicine.

Nguyen-Feng’s Research

In spring 2020, Nguyen-Feng and her colleagues at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities adapted a previously developed online intervention to evaluate its effectiveness in helping students cope with stress in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly 400 students were divided into two groups to determine the best tools to decrease levels in COVID-related stress. A second iteration of the study was conducted in summer 2020.

On-going: Global Collaboration on Traumatic Stress

Nguyen-Feng and her colleagues around the globe are conducting a four-wave longitudinal online study that investigates the psychological, cultural, social, and economic impacts of COVID-19 in 14 countries across four continents: North America (United States), South America (Brazil), Asia (Nepal), and Europe/Eurasia (Germany, Austria, Croatia, Georgia, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Sweden). The international interdisciplinary team comprises psychologists, public health experts, and an applied economist. The project highlights the importance of integrating mental and physical health, psychosocial considerations, and public health. The project is part of the Global Collaboration on Traumatic Stress.


Viann Nguyen-Feng
[email protected]
(218) 726-6239

About the Department of Psychology

About the Mind-Body Trauma Care Lab