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1.
J Affect Disord ; 307: 215-220, 2022 06 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1773414

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: There has been substantial discussion as to whether the mental health and socio-economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic might impact suicide rates. Although India accounts for the largest proportion of global suicides, the early impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on suicide rates in this country are unknown. METHODS: National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data were used to calculate annual suicide rates for the period 2010-2020, stratified by sex and state. Rate Ratios (RRs) stratified by sex and state were calculated to estimate the extent of change in suicide rates. RESULTS: Suicide rates in India generally showed a decreasing trend from 2010 until 2017, with the trend reversing after this period, particularly for males. Among males and females, the highest increase post 2017 was noted in 2020 (compared to 2017) (males: RR = 1.18 95% UI 1.17-1.19; females: RR = 1.05 95% UI 1.03-1.06). LIMITATION: Suicide rates based on the NCRB data might be an underestimation of the true suicide rates. CONCLUSION: Suicide rates in India increased during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, and although the increase in suicide rates, especially among males, predates the pandemic, the increase in suicide rates was highest in 2020, compared to increases in previous years. Further research is warranted to understand the potential ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on suicide in India.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Suicide , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Humans , India/epidemiology , Male , Mental Health , Pandemics
2.
Pirkis, Jane, Gunnell, David, Shin, Sangsoo, DelPozo-Banos, Marcos, Arya, Vikas, Analuisa Aguilar, Pablo, Appleby, Louis, Arafat, S. M. Yasir, Arensman, Ella, Ayuso-Mateos, Jose Luis, Balhara, Yatan Pal Singh, Bantjes, Jason, Baran, Anna, Behera, Chittaranjan, Bertolote, Jose, Borges, Guilherme, Bray, Michael, Brečić, Petrana, Caine, Eric D.; Calati, Raffaella, Carli, Vladimir, Castelpietra, Giulio, Chan, Lai Fong, Chang, Shu-Sen, Colchester, David, Coss-Guzmán, Maria, Crompton, David, Curkovic, Marko, Dandona, Rakhi, De Jaegere, Eva, De Leo, Diego, Deisenhammer, Eberhard, Dwyer, Jeremy, Erlangsen, Annette, Faust, Jeremy, Fornaro, Michele, Fortune, Sarah, Garrett, Andrew, Gentile, Guendalina, Gerstner, Rebekka, Gilissen, Renske, Gould, Madelyn, Gupta, Sudhir Kumar, Hawton, Keith, Holz, Franziska, Kamenshchikov, Iurii, Kapur, Navneet, Kasal, Alexandr, Khan, Murad, Kirtley, Olivia, Knipe, Duleeka, Kolves, Kairi, Kölzer, Sarah, Krivda, Hryhorii, Leske, Stuart, Madeddu, Fabio, Marshall, Andrew, Memon, Anjum, Mittendorfer-Rutz, Ellenor, Nestadt, Paul, Neznanov, Nikolay, Niederkrotenthaler, Thomas, Nielsen, Emma, Nordentoft, Merete, Oberlerchner, Herwig, O'Connor, Rory, Papsdorf, Rainer, Partonen, Timo, Michael, Phillips, Platt, Steve, Portzky, Gwendolyn, Psota, Georg, Qin, Ping, Radeloff, Daniel, Reif, Andreas, Reif-Leonhard, Christine, Rezaeian, Mohsen, Román-Vázquez, Nayda, Roskar, Saska, Rozanov, Vsevolod, Sara, Grant, Scavacini, Karen, Schneider, Barbara, Semenova, Natalia, Sinyor, Mark, Tambuzzi, Stefano, Townsend, Ellen, Ueda, Michiko, Wasserman, Danuta, Webb, Roger T.; Winkler, Petr, Yip, Paul S. F.; Zalsman, Gil, Zoja, Riccardo, John, Ann, Spittal, Matthew J..
SSRN; 2022.
Preprint in English | SSRN | ID: ppcovidwho-331684

ABSTRACT

Background When the COVID-19 pandemic began there were concerns that suicides might rise, but predicted increases were not generally observed in the pandemic’s early months. However, the picture may be changing and patterns may vary across demographic groups. We aimed to provide an up-to-date, granular picture of the impact of COVID-19 on suicides globally.Methods We identified suicide data from official public-sector sources for countries/areas-within-countries. We used interrupted time series (ITS) analyses to model the association between the pandemic’s emergence and total suicides and suicides by sex-, age- and sex-by-age in each country/area-within-country. We compared the observed number of suicides to the expected number in the pandemic’s first nine and first 10-15 months and used meta-regression to explore sources of variation.Findings We sourced data from 33 countries (24 high-income, six upper-middle-income, three lower-middle-income). There was no evidence of greater-than-expected numbers of suicides in the majority of countries/areas-within-countries in any analysis;more commonly, there was evidence of lower-than-expected numbers. Certain sex, age and sex-by-age groups stood out as potentially concerning, but these were not consistent across countries/areas-within-countries. In the meta-regression, different patterns were not explained by countries’ COVID-19 mortality rate, stringency of public health response, level of economic support, or presence of a national suicide prevention strategy. They were also not explained by countries’ income level, although the meta-regression only included data from high-income and upper-middle-income countries, and there were suggestions from the ITS analyses that lower-middle-income countries fared less well.Interpretation Although there are some countries/areas-within-countries where overall suicide numbers and numbers for certain sex- and age-based groups are greater-than-expected, these are in the minority. Any upward movement in suicide numbers in any place or group is concerning, and we need to remain alert to and respond to changes as the pandemic and its mental health and economic consequences continue.

3.
Trials ; 23(1): 110, 2022 Feb 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1690889

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Males in Australia and many other countries account for three-quarters of all deaths by suicide. School-based programs to support young men's wellbeing have become increasingly common in recent years and show much promise to tackle the issue of male suicide by fostering protective factors and mitigating harmful factors. However, only a few of these programs have been evaluated. This trial seeks to address the lack of knowledge about the potential for school-based gender-transformative programs to have a positive impact on boys. Breaking the Man Code workshops, delivered by Tomorrow Man in Australia, challenge and transform harmful masculinities with young men with a view to ultimately reducing their suicide risk. The trial aims to examine whether adolescent boys who participate in the Breaking the Man Code workshop demonstrate an increase in their likelihood of seeking help for personal or emotional problems compared to boys waiting to take part in the workshop. METHODS: A stratified cluster randomized controlled superiority trial with two parallel groups will be conducted. Schools will be randomly allocated 1:1, stratified by location of the schools (rural or urban), state (Victoria, NSW, or WA), and mode of workshop delivery (face-to-face or online), to the intervention group and waitlist control group. DISCUSSION: The Breaking the Man Code workshops show great promise as a school-based prevention intervention. The trial will fill a gap in knowledge that is critically needed to inform future interventions with boys and men. Some methodological challenges have been identified related to the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia, such as delays in ethics approvals and the need for Tomorrow Man to introduce an online delivery option for the workshop. The trial protocol has been designed to mitigate these challenges. The findings from the trial will be used to improve the workshops and will assist others who are designing and implementing suicide prevention interventions for boys and men. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ( ACTRN12620001134910 ). Registered on 30 October 2020.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Intention , Adolescent , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , SARS-CoV-2 , Victoria
4.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-307157

ABSTRACT

Background: A first report on the short-term effects of COVID-19 pandemic on death by suicide, that included data from Mexico City, suggested that no increase in suicide was apparent immediately following the declaration of emergency. We followed up this initial analysis by adding longer-term suicide trends from Mexico City and by inspecting basic demographic groups. Methods: We used an interrupted time-series analysis to model the trend in monthly suicides before COVID-19 (from Jan 1, 2010, to March 31, 2020), comparing the expected number of suicides derived from the model with the observed number of suicides in the following months of the pandemic (from April 1 to November 30, 2020). Findings: The number of monthly suicides changed from 30·2 to 30·9. There was an increase in suicide during the first 8 months of the pandemic, with a RR of 1·74 (1·37-2·20). Most of the increase occurred beyond June 2020, when there was an increase of about 70% that was then maintained. The increase was mostly accounted for by male residents of Mexico City, regardless of their age 1·95 (1·51-2·52). Overall, there was no change in the number of female suicides but those in the older age group should be closely monitored (RR=2·00;0·96-3·68). Interpretation: The increase in suicides by male residents of Mexico City is worrying and reinforces the need to strengthen actions for economic development, mental health and wellbeing. As the city is widening primary health care services and interventions there is an opportunity to include suicide prevention and treatment.Funding Information: No funding was used for this manuscript.Declaration of Interests: The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article. Ethics Approval Statement: The Ethical Committee of the National Institute of Psychiatry cleared this work for ethical approval.

5.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-328683

ABSTRACT

Background: While suicide rates in high- and middle-income countries appeared stable in the early stages of the pandemic, we know little about within-country variations. We sought to investigate the impact of COVID-19 on suicide in Mexico’s 32 states and to identify factors that may have contributed to observed variations between states. Methods: Interrupted time-series analysis to model the trend in monthly suicides before COVID-19 (from Jan 1, 2010, to March 31, 2020), comparing the expected number of suicides derived from the model with the observed number for the remainder of the year (April 1 to December 31, 2020) for each of Mexico’s 32 states. Next, we modeled state-level trends using linear regression to study likely contributing factors at ecological level. Results: Suicide increased across Mexico during the first nine months of the pandemic (RR 1.03;95%CI 1.01-1.05). Suicides remained stable in 19 states, increase in seven states (RR range: 1.12-2.04) and a decrease in six states (RR range: 0.46-0.88). Suicide RR at the state level was positively associated with population density in 2020 and state level suicide death rate in 2019. Conclusions: The COVID-19 pandemic had a differential effect on suicide death within the 32 states of Mexico. Higher population density and higher suicide rates in 2019 were associated with increased suicide. As the country struggles to cope with the ongoing pandemic, efforts to improve access to primary care and mental health care services (including suicide crisis intervention services) in these settings should be given priority.

6.
Lancet Psychiatry ; 8(7): 579-588, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1683800

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic is having profound mental health consequences for many people. Concerns have been expressed that, at their most extreme, these consequences could manifest as increased suicide rates. We aimed to assess the early effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on suicide rates around the world. METHODS: We sourced real-time suicide data from countries or areas within countries through a systematic internet search and recourse to our networks and the published literature. Between Sept 1 and Nov 1, 2020, we searched the official websites of these countries' ministries of health, police agencies, and government-run statistics agencies or equivalents, using the translated search terms "suicide" and "cause of death", before broadening the search in an attempt to identify data through other public sources. Data were included from a given country or area if they came from an official government source and were available at a monthly level from at least Jan 1, 2019, to July 31, 2020. Our internet searches were restricted to countries with more than 3 million residents for pragmatic reasons, but we relaxed this rule for countries identified through the literature and our networks. Areas within countries could also be included with populations of less than 3 million. We used an interrupted time-series analysis to model the trend in monthly suicides before COVID-19 (from at least Jan 1, 2019, to March 31, 2020) in each country or area within a country, comparing the expected number of suicides derived from the model with the observed number of suicides in the early months of the pandemic (from April 1 to July 31, 2020, in the primary analysis). FINDINGS: We sourced data from 21 countries (16 high-income and five upper-middle-income countries), including whole-country data in ten countries and data for various areas in 11 countries). Rate ratios (RRs) and 95% CIs based on the observed versus expected numbers of suicides showed no evidence of a significant increase in risk of suicide since the pandemic began in any country or area. There was statistical evidence of a decrease in suicide compared with the expected number in 12 countries or areas: New South Wales, Australia (RR 0·81 [95% CI 0·72-0·91]); Alberta, Canada (0·80 [0·68-0·93]); British Columbia, Canada (0·76 [0·66-0·87]); Chile (0·85 [0·78-0·94]); Leipzig, Germany (0·49 [0·32-0·74]); Japan (0·94 [0·91-0·96]); New Zealand (0·79 [0·68-0·91]); South Korea (0·94 [0·92-0·97]); California, USA (0·90 [0·85-0·95]); Illinois (Cook County), USA (0·79 [0·67-0·93]); Texas (four counties), USA (0·82 [0·68-0·98]); and Ecuador (0·74 [0·67-0·82]). INTERPRETATION: This is the first study to examine suicides occurring in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic in multiple countries. In high-income and upper-middle-income countries, suicide numbers have remained largely unchanged or declined in the early months of the pandemic compared with the expected levels based on the pre-pandemic period. We need to remain vigilant and be poised to respond if the situation changes as the longer-term mental health and economic effects of the pandemic unfold. FUNDING: None.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Global Health , Models, Statistical , Suicide/statistics & numerical data , Developed Countries/statistics & numerical data , Humans
7.
Front Psychiatry ; 12: 797601, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1581142

ABSTRACT

Aims: We aimed to determine whether there has been a change in the number of suicides occurring in three Australian states overall, and in age and sex subgroups, since the COVID-19 pandemic began, and to see if certain risk factors for suicide have become more prominent as likely underlying contributing factors for suicide. Method: Using real-time data from three state-based suicide registers, we ran multiple unadjusted and adjusted interrupted time series analyses to see if trends in monthly suicide counts changed after the pandemic began and whether there had been an increase in suicides where relationship breakdown, financial stressors, unemployment and homelessness were recorded. Results: Compared with the period before COVID-19, during the COVID-19 period there was no change in the number of suicides overall, or in any stratum-specific estimates except one. The exception was an increase in the number of young males who died by suicide in the COVID-19 period (adjusted RR 1.89 [95% CI 1.11-3.23]). The unadjusted analysis showed significant differences in suicide in the context of unemployment and relationship breakdown during the COVID-19 compared to the pre-COVID-19 period. Analysis showed an increase in the number of suicides occurring in the context of unemployment in the COVID-19 period (unadjusted RR 1.53 [95% CI 1.18-1.96]). In contrast, there was a decrease in the number of suicides occurring in the context of relationship breakdown in the COVID-19 period (unadjusted RR 0.82 [95% CI 0.67-0.99]). However, no significant changes were identified when the models were adjusted for possible over-dispersion, seasonality and non-linear trend. Conclusion: Although our analysis found no evidence of an overall increase in suicides after the pandemic began, the picture is complex. The identified increase in suicide in young men indicates that the impact of the pandemic is likely unevenly distributed across populations. The increase in suicides in the context of unemployment reinforces the vital need for mitigation measures during COVID-19, and for ongoing monitoring of suicide as the pandemic continues.

8.
Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry ; 2021 Nov 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1544477

ABSTRACT

Suicide prevention videos featuring young people's personal narratives of hope and recovery are increasingly used in suicide prevention, but research on their effects is scarce. A double-blind randomized controlled trial was conducted to test the effects of a suicide prevention video featuring an adolescent mastering his suicidal ideation by getting help on 14 to 19-year-olds. N = 299 adolescents were randomly allocated to watch the intervention video (n = 148) or a control video unrelated to mental health (n = 151). Questionnaire data were collected before (T1) and immediately after exposure (T2), and 4 weeks later (T3). Data were analyzed with a repeated-measures ANCOVA. The primary outcome was suicidal ideation, assessed with the Reasons for Living Inventory for Adolescents. Secondary outcomes were help-seeking intentions, attitudes towards suicide, stigmatization of suicidality, and mood. There was an immediate beneficial effect of the intervention on suicidal ideation (T2 mean change from baseline within intervention group MChange = - 0.16 [95% CI - 0.20 to - 0.12], mean difference compared to control group MDiff = - 0.09 [95% CI - 0.15 to - 0.03], ηp2 = 0.03), which was not maintained at T3. Participants reported significantly higher help-seeking intentions, which was maintained at 4-week follow-up. They also reported a sustained reduction of favorable attitudes to suicide. Effects on suicidal ideation were mediated by identification with the featured protagonist. Adolescents appear to benefit from suicide prevention narratives featuring personal stories from peers on coping with suicidal ideation and help-seeking.Trial registration DRKS00017405; 24/09/19; retrospectively registered.

9.
Arch Suicide Res ; : 1-6, 2021 Aug 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1366922

ABSTRACT

Emerging data from high and upper-middle-income countries indicate that suicide rates generally did not increase during the initial months of the COVID-19 pandemic, yet the pandemic's impact on suicide is complex. We discuss the nuances of this relationship, how it may evolve over time, and describe the specific steps that governments and societies must take to mitigate harm and prevent suicides in the late stages and aftermath of the pandemic.

10.
Lancet Psychiatry ; 8(7): 579-588, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1284642

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic is having profound mental health consequences for many people. Concerns have been expressed that, at their most extreme, these consequences could manifest as increased suicide rates. We aimed to assess the early effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on suicide rates around the world. METHODS: We sourced real-time suicide data from countries or areas within countries through a systematic internet search and recourse to our networks and the published literature. Between Sept 1 and Nov 1, 2020, we searched the official websites of these countries' ministries of health, police agencies, and government-run statistics agencies or equivalents, using the translated search terms "suicide" and "cause of death", before broadening the search in an attempt to identify data through other public sources. Data were included from a given country or area if they came from an official government source and were available at a monthly level from at least Jan 1, 2019, to July 31, 2020. Our internet searches were restricted to countries with more than 3 million residents for pragmatic reasons, but we relaxed this rule for countries identified through the literature and our networks. Areas within countries could also be included with populations of less than 3 million. We used an interrupted time-series analysis to model the trend in monthly suicides before COVID-19 (from at least Jan 1, 2019, to March 31, 2020) in each country or area within a country, comparing the expected number of suicides derived from the model with the observed number of suicides in the early months of the pandemic (from April 1 to July 31, 2020, in the primary analysis). FINDINGS: We sourced data from 21 countries (16 high-income and five upper-middle-income countries), including whole-country data in ten countries and data for various areas in 11 countries). Rate ratios (RRs) and 95% CIs based on the observed versus expected numbers of suicides showed no evidence of a significant increase in risk of suicide since the pandemic began in any country or area. There was statistical evidence of a decrease in suicide compared with the expected number in 12 countries or areas: New South Wales, Australia (RR 0·81 [95% CI 0·72-0·91]); Alberta, Canada (0·80 [0·68-0·93]); British Columbia, Canada (0·76 [0·66-0·87]); Chile (0·85 [0·78-0·94]); Leipzig, Germany (0·49 [0·32-0·74]); Japan (0·94 [0·91-0·96]); New Zealand (0·79 [0·68-0·91]); South Korea (0·94 [0·92-0·97]); California, USA (0·90 [0·85-0·95]); Illinois (Cook County), USA (0·79 [0·67-0·93]); Texas (four counties), USA (0·82 [0·68-0·98]); and Ecuador (0·74 [0·67-0·82]). INTERPRETATION: This is the first study to examine suicides occurring in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic in multiple countries. In high-income and upper-middle-income countries, suicide numbers have remained largely unchanged or declined in the early months of the pandemic compared with the expected levels based on the pre-pandemic period. We need to remain vigilant and be poised to respond if the situation changes as the longer-term mental health and economic effects of the pandemic unfold. FUNDING: None.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Global Health , Models, Statistical , Suicide/statistics & numerical data , Developed Countries/statistics & numerical data , Humans
11.
J Adolesc Health ; 68(6): 1067-1074, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1179710

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: The benefits of helplines are particularly valuable during a pandemic when face-to-face services and natural supports are difficult to access. Kids Helpline, Australia's national youth helpline, provides children and young people with free 24/7 information and counseling through telephone, WebChat, and e-mail. We aimed to examine the use of Kids Helpline during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: We analyzed monthly and weekly time trends of demand for and response by the Kids Helpline. The frequency of counseling contacts by common concern types, age, and gender were also examined. We used Joinpoint regression. RESULTS: Analyses of weekly demand for Kids Helpline showed an increase when the pandemic was declared, followed by a gradual decline. A second rise from 12 July 2020 when parts of Australia experienced a second wave of infections, followed by another decline, occurred more recently. Increased demand was almost entirely in the WebChat modality. Most answered counseling contacts were from girls and those aged 13-18 years. The number of contacts about mental health, suicide/self-harm, and family relationships increased, with mental health contacts also increasing as a proportion of total contacts. COVID-19-related concerns were the most common reason for contact in April 2020. CONCLUSIONS: In Australia, the COVID-19 pandemic saw a rapid increase in demand for Kids Helpline, mainly by WebChat, with the virus itself, mental health, suicide/self-harm, and relationships common reasons for contact. Responding to rapid changes in demand for particular modalities is challenging and understanding of the use and effectiveness of different modalities is needed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Hotlines/statistics & numerical data , Mental Health/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , Adolescent , Australia/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Counseling , Female , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
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