The COVID-19 pandemic influences both physical and mental health, the economy, as well as social life on all continents. Suicide is of international concern with figures showing that approximately 800,000 people die by suicide each year (this number being underestimated).
It has previously been shown that while suicide rates may momentarily decrease during times of crises, once the immediate crisis has passed, suicide rates increase. Suicide occurs when there is an imbalance of risk and protective factors on individual, relationship, community and society levels. In order to successfully combat the likely increase of suicide during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, evidence-based suicide preventive methods must be strengthened.
Suicide Prevention During and After the COVID-19 Pandemic: Evidence-Based Recommendations 2020 – a report authored on behalf of the WPA Section of Suicidology by Professor in Psychiatry and Suicidology at Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden and a Director for the WHO Collaborating Centre, Danuta Wasserman, provides professionals, healthcare providers, policy makers and governments an analysis of how the pandemic affects risk and protective factors of suicide. The report also offers recommendations for appropriate evidence-based preventative measures as well as an overview of the suicide rates for each country in the six World Health Organization regions.
Author: Danuta Wasserman, WPA Section on Suicidology