The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted existing crises and introduced new stressors for various populations. We suggest that a multilevel ecological perspective, one that researchers and practitioners have used to address some of public health’s most intransigent challenges, will be necessary to address emotional distress and mental health problems resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Multiple levels of influence (individual, interpersonal, organizational, community, and policy) each contribute (individually and in combination) to population health and individual well-being. We use the convergence strategy to illustrate how multilevel communication strategies designed to raise awareness, educate, or motivate informed decision-making or behavior change can address various sources of information surrounding a person to synergistically affect mental health outcomes. Looking ahead, dissemination and implementation researchers and practitioners will likely need to coordinate organizations and networks to speak in complementary and resonant ways to enhance understanding of complex information related to the pandemic, mitigate unnecessary anxiety, and motivate healthy behavior to support population mental health.
Multilevel communication to improve well-being during a pandemic