Suicide rates during the first months of the pandemic
Researchers used data from 21 countries and found no evidence of increase of suicide during the first 4 months of the pandemic. In some locations, there was evidence of decline.
The study published in Lancet Psychiatry is by far the largest study documenting the change of suicide rates during the pandemic in multiple countries. The findings are in line with the observation of no increase or a slight decrease of suicide cases in the first 3 months in Norway.
“The effects of the pandemic on peoples’ mental wellbeing are complex. It has changed the way we live and caused immense hardship from societal fear and uncertainty, disruption of routine activities to potential economic hardship on many individuals,” says Ping Qin, professor of medicine at the National Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention.
Children, who experience a sudden loss of a parent due to an accident, murder, or suicide, have a larger risk of problems later in life, according to a new study. According to researcher Lisa Victoria Burrell, “these children need more than just an open door”.
Lisa Victoria Burrell investigated how children are affected by a sudden loss of a parent, after an accident, murder, or suicide.
“Children are often called the forgotten left behinds, since they may have problems expressing their grief, and because they often do not experience sufficient help and follow-up,” Burrell says.
She examined how such a loss before turning 18 years old may affect school attendance, the risk of psychiatric disease, and the risk of self-harm or suicide attempt.
WHO and public health authorities around the world are acting to contain the COVID-19 outbreak. However, this time of crisis is generating stress throughout the population.
Johnson S U, Hoffar A, Tilden T, Toft H P, Neupane S, Lien L, Bramness JG
Acta Neuropsychiatrica, 1-7.
Mittendorfer-Rutz E, Amin R, Niederkrotenthaler T, Björkenstam E, Helgesson M, Qin P, Runeson B, Tinghög, P, Mehlum, L
Suicidologi, 25(1), 31-33
Other Norwegian resources
The VIVAT program is an education program in suicide prevention for health personnel, established in 2001. http://vivatselvmordsforebygging.net/
The organization LEVE (Landsforeningen for etterlatte ved selvmord), has provided support in the aftermath of suicide since 1999. Visit them at http://www.levenorge.no/