New findings from The Lancet show that suicide rates did not increase during the first few months of the pandemic. The study took a look at 21 countries, including high-income and middle-income countries, and observed the number of suicides compared to expected numbers that were formulated before the pandemic started. Early data shows that self-reported rates of depression, anxiety, and suicidal thinking were intensified during the first few months of the pandemic, but those numbers did not translate into an uptick in suicides, the study found.
“Communities might have actively tried to support at-risk individuals, people might have connected in new ways, and some relationships might have been strengthened by households spending more time with each other,” the study said. “For some people, everyday stresses might have been reduced during stay-at-home periods, and for others the collective feeling of ‘we’re all in this together’ might have been beneficial.”
If you or a loved one are struggling with suicidal thoughts, please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.