‘A Year’s Worth of Suicide Attempts in Four Weeks’: The Unintended Consequences of COVID-19 Lockdowns
Stay-at-home orders come with a host of unintended consequences that we have not yet even begun to measure or understand.
Tuesday, May 26, 2020
The costs of the government responses to the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic have been severe. New evidence suggests they could be even worse than we imagined.
An ABC affiliate in California reports that doctors at John Muir Medical Center tell them they have seen more deaths by suicide than COVID-19 during the quarantine.
“The numbers are unprecedented,” said Dr. Michael deBoisblanc, referring to the spike in suicides.
“We’ve never seen numbers like this, in such a short period of time,” deBoisblanc added. “I mean we’ve seen a year’s worth of suicide attempts in the last four weeks.” (See link for article)
Mental health before and during the COVID-19 pandemic: a longitudinal probability sample survey of the UK population
After a month of lockdown in the U.K., the prevalence of mental distress jumped from 18.9% to 27.3% — mostly affecting women, young people, and those with preschool age children.
This was written at the end of May and the lockdown & mask-wearing continues…..which means suicide attempts are probably far worse – and continuing.
It is unfortunate that the ‘Eye or Mordor’ continues to rivet on a virus that will ‘run its course’ despite anything we do, when there are plenty of other medical needs that are being completely ignored – including mental health.
Here’s a more current article on the subject: https://www.psycom.net/covid-19-suicide-rates
…a new report by The Well Being Trust released last month found that 75,000 additional people could die from what they called “deaths of despair,” (which include suicide and substance use) because of Covid-19.
The article has some great advice and things to look for – as well as ways to get help.
And it isn’t just adults – kids are attempting and committing suicide as well: https://www.theguardian.com/education/2020/jul/13/deaths-special-needs-children-kent-raise-concerns-over-school-closures?
Ellen Townsend, a professor of psychology at the University of Nottingham and an expert in self-harm and suicide prevention, warned there could be “a tsunami of mental health issues” on the horizon. “I’m worried that those who are already vulnerable will be struggling even more. I’m worried there are certain groups of young people who have been fine but are now struggling.
Lastly, a campaign known as REACH, is the core part of a $53 million, two-year effort announced by President Donald Trump to reduce suicide, particularly among veterans: https://www.armytimes.com/veterans/2020/07/07/us-government-launches-campaign-to-reduce-high-suicide-rates/ (I flat-out disagree with Adams’ statement that mask wearing is going to decrease suicides. That is pure conjecture and there’s much to show masks are harmful to the healthy population. The last thing a depressed or anxious person needs is less oxygen!)