Review: Suicide mortality and Coronavirus disease 2019 – A perfect storm?

This viewpoint explains reasons why US suicide rates may rise in tandem with the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic and describes opportunities to expand research and care.

Suicide rates have been rising in the US over the last 2 decades. It is within this context that coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) struck the US. Social distancing interventions to curb the spread of the virus are important, but also reduce human contact and have the potential for adverse outcomes on suicide risk is high. These outcomes include:

  • Economic stress
  • Social isolation
  • Decreased access to community and religious support
  • Barriers to mental health treatment
  • Illness and medical problems
  • Outcomes of national anxiety
  • Health care professional suicide rates
  • Firearm sales
  • Seasonal variation in suicide rates

The authors also list several actions could be taken to mitigate potential unintended consequences on suicide prevention efforts. These include:

  • Physical distance, not social distance: increasing efforts to stay connected and maintain meaningful relationships by telephone or video, especially among individuals with substantial risk factors for suicide
  • Tele-mental health
  • Increased access to mental health care
  • Distance-based suicide prevention
  • Media reporting following guidelines and including the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
|2020-04-13T12:21:46-04:00April 13th, 2020|COVID-19 Literature|Comments Off on Review: Suicide mortality and Coronavirus disease 2019 – A perfect storm?

About the Author: Erika Cheng

Erika Cheng

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