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1.
Lancet ; 398(10303): 920-930, 2021 09 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1593950

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has heightened interest in how physician mental health can be protected and optimised, but uncertainty and misinformation remain about some key issues. In this Review, we discuss the current literature, which shows that despite what might be inferred during training, physicians are not immune to mental illness, with between a quarter and a third reporting increased symptoms of mental ill health. Physicians, particularly female physicians, are at an increased risk of suicide. An emerging consensus exists that some aspects of physician training, working conditions, and organisational support are unacceptable. Changes in medical training and health systems, and the additional strain of working through a pandemic, might have amplified these problems. A new evidence-informed framework for how individual and organisational interventions can be used in an integrated manner in medical schools, in health-care settings, and by professional colleagues is proposed. New initiatives are required at each of these levels, with an urgent need for organisational-level interventions, to better protect the mental health and wellbeing of physicians.


Subject(s)
Mental Disorders/epidemiology , Physicians/psychology , Suicide/statistics & numerical data , Burnout, Professional , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Mental Disorders/prevention & control , Pandemics , Physicians, Women/psychology , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Substance-Related Disorders/epidemiology , Suicide/prevention & control , Work Schedule Tolerance
2.
Front Public Health ; 9: 756360, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1581117

ABSTRACT

Suicide events may have a negative impact on all of society. The media plays a significant role in suicide prevention. Therefore, the aims of this study are (a) to understand the association between characteristics of suicide events and characteristics of who committed suicide, and event impact indexes (EIIs) of suicide reported on the internet; (b) to analyze violation of recommendations for reporting suicide by Weibo, and (c) to investigate the effect of online reports of suicide on public opinion. We carried out a content analysis of online reports of suicide. This study analyzed 113 suicide events, 300 news reports of suicide, and 2,654 Weibo comments about suicide collected from the WeiboReach between 2015 and 2020. We used a t-test and analysis of variance (ANOVA) to explore the potential factors associated with the EIIs of suicide events. The results found that (a) The suicide events reported on the internet during COVID-19 and those related to celebrities and students tend to have higher EIIs; (b) suicide reports on Weibo frequently violated WHO recommendations for suicide reporting in the media; and (c) public opinion of suicide reporting in the online media was mostly emotional and irrational, which is not beneficial for public mental health and suicide prevention. In conclusion, first, the situation of many people working from home or studying from home and spreading more time online during COVID-19 may lead to suicide events obtain more public attention. Online media could further improve public responsible reporting and daily media-content surveillance, especially taking particular care in those suicide events during COVID-19, and related to celebrities and students, which may have a higher event impact on the internet. Second, health managers should regular assessment of observance of the WHO recommendations for suicide reporting by online social media to prevent suicide. Third, health communication managers should use big data to identify, assess, and manage harmful information about suicide; and track anyone affected by suicide-related reports on social media to reduce the negative impact of public opinion to intervene suicide in the early stage of suicide.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Social Media , Suicide , Humans , Public Opinion , SARS-CoV-2 , Suicide/prevention & control
3.
Pediatrics ; 148(1)2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1533449

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Depression is common, and suicide rates are increasing. Adolescent depression screening might miss those with unidentified suicide risk. Our primary objective in this study was to compare the magnitude of positive screen results across different approaches. METHODS: From June 2019 to October 2020, 803 mostly Medicaid-enrolled adolescents aged ≥12 years with no recent history of depression or self-harm were screened with the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 Modified for Adolescents (PHQ-9A) and the Ask Suicide-Screening Questions (ASQ) across 12 primary care practices. Two PHQ-9A screening strategies were evaluated: screening for any type of depression or other mental illness (positive on any item) or screening for major depressive disorder (MDD) (total score ≥10). RESULTS: Overall, 56.4% of patients screened positive for any type of depression, 24.7% screened positive for MDD, and 21.1% screened positive for suicide risk. Regardless of PHQ-9A screening strategy, the ASQ identified additional subjects (eg, 2.2% additional cases compared with screening for any type of depression or other mental illness and 8.3% additional cases compared with screening positive for MDD). Of those with ≥6 month follow-up, 22.9% screened positive for any type of depression (n = 205), 35.6% screened positive for MDD (n = 90), and 42.7% with a positive ASQ result (n = 75) had a depression or self-harm diagnosis or an antidepressant prescription. CONCLUSIONS: Suicide risk screening identifies cases not identified by depression screening. In this study, we underscore opportunities and challenges in primary care related to the high prevalence of depression and suicide risk. Research is needed regarding optimal screening strategies and to help clinicians manage the expected number of screening-identified adolescents.


Subject(s)
Depression/epidemiology , Mass Screening/methods , Primary Health Care/methods , Suicide/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Antidepressive Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/psychology , Child , Depression/diagnosis , Depression/drug therapy , Depressive Disorder, Major/diagnosis , Depressive Disorder, Major/drug therapy , Depressive Disorder, Major/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Loneliness , Male , Mental Disorders/diagnosis , Mental Disorders/epidemiology , Pandemics , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Isolation , Suicide/prevention & control , Young Adult
4.
Asian J Psychiatr ; 66: 102858, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1525660

ABSTRACT

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the health and wellbeing of communities worldwide. Measures to limit transmission, have enhanced vulnerability of individuals to well identified risk factors associated with mental illness and suicide. These include a sense of loneliness, anxiety, depression, insomnia, PTSD, harmful alcohol and drug use. Given that the potential for increased rates of suicide persist, the suicide prevention agenda remains urgent and essential. The same is one of the cornerstones of resilience in a society that is facing an array of challenges due to the pandemic. In this article, we recommend few possible strategies for attenuating suicide risk amidst the COVID-19 pandemic with particular relevance to the Indian context.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Suicide , Humans , Mental Health , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Suicide/prevention & control
5.
Psychiatry Res ; 301: 113998, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1475002

ABSTRACT

COVID-19, and efforts to mitigate its spread, are creating extensive mental health problems. Experts have speculated the mental, economic, behavioral, and psychosocial problems linked to the COVID-19 pandemic may lead to a rise in suicide behavior. However, a quantitative synthesis is needed to reach an overall conclusion regarding the pandemic-suicide link. In the most comprehensive test of the COVID-19-suicidality link to date, we meta-analyzed data from 308,596 participants across 54 studies. Our results suggested increased event rates for suicide ideation (10.81%), suicide attempts (4.68%), and self-harm (9.63%) during the COVID-19 pandemic when considered against event rates from pre-pandemic studies. Moderation analysis indicated younger people, women, and individuals from democratic countries are most susceptible to suicide ideation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Policymakers and helping professionals are advised that suicide behaviors are alarmingly common during the COVID-19 pandemic and vary based upon age, gender, and geopolitics. Strong protections from governments (e.g., implementing best practices in suicide prevention) are urgently needed to reduce suicide behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Suicidal Ideation , Suicide, Attempted/psychology , Suicide/prevention & control , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Self-Injurious Behavior/psychology , Suicide/psychology , Suicide, Attempted/statistics & numerical data
6.
Public Health Res Pract ; 31(3)2021 Sep 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1471205

ABSTRACT

Emerging evidence, based on the synthesis of reports from past infectious disease-related public health emergencies, supports an association between previous pandemics and a heightened risk of suicide or suicide-related behaviours and outcomes. Anxiety associated with pandemic media reporting appears to be one critical contributing factor. Social isolation, loneliness, and the disconnect that can result from public health strategies during global pandemics also appear to increase suicide risk in vulnerable individuals. Innovative suicide risk assessment and prevention strategies are needed to recognise and adapt to the negative impacts of pandemics on population mental health.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Suicide/prevention & control , Suicide/statistics & numerical data , Anxiety/epidemiology , Anxiety/psychology , COVID-19/psychology , Humans , Loneliness/psychology , Mental Health , Public Health , Risk Assessment/methods , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Isolation/psychology , Suicide/psychology
7.
Psychiatr Serv ; 72(10): 1240-1241, 2021 10 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1467780
8.
Orv Hetil ; 162(41): 1631-1636, 2021 10 10.
Article in Hungarian | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1463346

ABSTRACT

Összefoglaló. Bevezetés: Az öngyilkosság fo rizikófaktorának a pszichiátriai zavarokat tekintjük. A COVID-19 többek között neuropszichiátriai kórképek kialakulásához is vezethet. Ezen túl a pandémia egyéb velejárói, mint például az izoláció vagy a munkahelyvesztés, a társadalom egészséges tagjaiban is stresszhez, végül pszichiátriai zavarokhoz vezethetnek. Célkituzés: Vizsgálatunk célja annak a teóriának a tesztelése volt, hogy a fenti tényezok miatt együtt járt-e a járvány a hazai suicid halálozás csökkeno trendjének irányváltásával. Módszer: Vizsgálatunkban a megszakított idosorok elemzésének módszerét használtuk, a becslésekhez kvázi-Poisson-regressziót alkalmazva, hogy összehasonlítsuk a 2010 és 2020 közötti idoszak havi bontású adataiból kirajzolódó trendek alapján a járvány idoszakában (2020. március-december) "elvárt" öngyilkossági esetszámokat a ténylegesen bekövetkezett esetek számával. Eredmények: A COVID-19-hónapok alatt a férfiak által elkövetett öngyilkosságok száma szignifikánsan, 18%-kal nott, ahhoz a trendhez képest, amely a COVID-19 hiányában állt volna elo. A teljes populációban szintén szignifikáns, 16%-os emelkedést lehetett megfigyelni, míg a nok által elkövetett öngyilkosságok száma nem tért el szignifikánsan a pre-COVID-19-idoszak trendje alapján elvárt értéktol. Megbeszélés és következtetés: A járvány kitörése utáni idoszakban a magyar férfiak szignifikánsan gyakrabban követtek el öngyilkosságot, míg a noknél az adatok nem tükröztek lényegi változást. A más országokban kivitelezett vizsgálatok eredményei érdekes módon inkább csökkenést vagy nem szignifikáns változást jeleztek, amikor a COVID-19-éra suicid számait az azt megelozo idoszakok számaival hasonlították össze. A hazai és a nemzetközi eredmények közti eltérések magyarázata egyelore még nem ismert, így a téma mindenképpen további vizsgálatokat igényel. Orv Hetil. 2021; 162(41): 1631-1636. INTRODUCTION: Psychiatric disorders are the main risk factors for suicide. COVID-19 may result in the appearance of neuropsychiatric syndromes. Moreover, other corollaries of the pandemic (e.g., isolation, job loss) may lead to increasing stress and, ultimately, psychiatric disorders even among the non-infected population. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to test the theory of whether the pandemic, due to the aforementioned factors, was associated with the reversal of the declining suicide rate trend in Hungary. METHOD: To compare the observed number of suicides during the COVID-19 months (March-December 2020) with the expected numbers, we used an interrupted time series model and, for the estimations, quasi-Poisson regression. Expected numbers were calculated based on trends derived from monthly data between 2010 and 2020. RESULTS: During the months of the pandemic, the number of suicides among males rose significantly by 18% compared to the hypothetical trend that would have occurred in the absence of COVID-19. A significant increase (16%) was also observed in the total population. By contrast, the number of female suicides did not differ significantly from the number expected based on the pre-COVID-19 trend. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: After the outbreak of the epidemic, Hungarian males committed significantly more suicides, while no relevant changes were observed among females. Interestingly, studies from other countries found either no change or decrease when comparing suicide numbers from the COVID-19 period with the corresponding numbers from the pre-COVID-19 period. The explanation for this discrepancy is still lacking, so further investigations are needed. Orv Hetil. 2021; 162(41): 1631-1636.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Suicide , Female , Humans , Hungary/epidemiology , Male , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Suicide/prevention & control
10.
Prev Med ; 152(Pt 1): 106734, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1447231

ABSTRACT

Since 1999, the Office of the United States Surgeon General has identified suicide prevention as a national public health priority. The National Strategy on Suicide Prevention, coordinated by the public-private Action Alliance, was most recently updated in 2012. In early 2021, the Surgeon General's office released a Call to Action to fully implement the national strategy. Six core types of actions to prevent suicide include adopting a broad public health approach, addressing upstream factors including social determinants of health, reducing access to multiple forms of lethal means, adopting evidence-based care for persons at risk, enhancing crisis care and care transitions, and improving the quality and use of suicide-related data. From 1999 through 2018, suicide rates in the U.S. increased by approximately one-third, and suicide had become the tenth leading cause of death. While most recent national data indicate a small reduction in the suicide rate, decreases were not seen across all demographic groups. Population groups which may require special emphasis or outreach efforts include adolescents, working age adults, military veterans, and American Indians/Alaskan Natives. Increases in social isolation, mental distress, and economic hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic indicate clear needs to address the full spectrum of suicidal behavior. This will require a multisector and whole of government approach, using contemporary evidence-informed approaches and best practices as well as innovative methods including those based on predictive analytics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Suicide , Adolescent , Adult , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Suicidal Ideation , Suicide/prevention & control , United States
11.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(19)2021 Oct 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1444224

ABSTRACT

Background: This practical report aims to publicize the ongoing disaster-related mental health interventions following the Great East Japan Earthquake during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: Disaster-related mental health interventions consisted of: (1) screening high-risk evacuees with high psychological distress (Kessler 6 score ≥ 13) or binge drinking; and (2) visiting selected high-risk individuals and providing them counseling through outreach in evacuee housing. These activity records were compiled from existing material in the Sendai City Office; therefore, no new interviews or questionnaire surveys were conducted. Results: During the COVID-19 pandemic, we introduced telephone counseling and shortened the time of support as a result of the restrictions. Counselors addressed issues of "loneliness" or "isolation" among evacuees, who had little connection with society due to the pandemic. Moreover, the procedure for obtaining COVID-19 special financial aid was explained to evacuees in financial difficulty. During this period, the suicide rates in the affected area did not increase significantly as compared to the national average. Conclusions: Our report may be instructive in terms of preventing suicide during the pandemic using high-risk approaches and counselors trained in disaster-related mental health interventions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Disasters , Earthquakes , Suicide , Humans , Japan/epidemiology , Mental Health , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Suicide/prevention & control
12.
J R Soc Med ; 114(10): 473-479, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1435171

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this research was to evaluate the impact of federal, public health and social support programs on national suicide rates in Canada. DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. SETTING: Canadian National Database (i.e., Statistics Canada) and Statista. PARTICIPANTS: Population-level data, and economic and consumer market data. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Suicide mortality data, population data and unemployment data were obtained from available statistical databases (e.g. Statistics Canada). We quantified suicide rate by dividing the total number of suicide deaths by the national population expressed as a rate per 100,000 population. RESULTS: Overall suicide mortality rate decreased in Canada from 10.82 deaths per 100,000 in the March 2019 - February 2020 period to 7.34 per 100,000 (i.e. absolute difference of 1300 deaths) in the March 2020 - February 2021 period. The overall Canadian unemployment rate changed from an average monthly rate of 5.7% in 2019 to 9.5% in 2020. CONCLUSION: Our results indicate that for the first post-pandemic interval evaluated (i.e., March 2020 - February 2021), suicide rates in Canada decreased against a background of extraordinary public health measures intended to mitigate community spread of COVID-19. An externality of public health measures was a significant rise in national unemployment rates in population measures of distress. Our results suggest that government interventions that broadly aim to reduce measures of insecurity (i.e., economic, housing, health), and timely psychiatric services, should be prioritised as part of a national suicide reduction strategy, not only during but after termination of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Public Health , Suicide/prevention & control , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/psychology , Canada/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Government , Humans , Retrospective Studies , Suicide/statistics & numerical data , Survival Rate/trends
13.
Workplace Health Saf ; 69(2): 92, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1406688

ABSTRACT

Suicide prevention begins with understanding depression and mental health protection.


Subject(s)
Depression/diagnosis , Occupational Health Nursing/methods , Suicide/prevention & control , COVID-19/psychology , Depression/psychology , Humans , Suicide/psychology
14.
J Nerv Ment Dis ; 209(9): 681-683, 2021 Sep 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1376357

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT: The COVID-19 pandemic brought with itself significant mental health challenges owing not only to the morbidity and mortality from the infection but also to mitigation strategies of social distancing and self-isolation. Indeed, in the absence of adequate pharmaceutical aids, quarantine and social distancing measures are taken to limit the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Thus, living in the world of social media, the average usage of social media could be expected to show a sharp rise as measures of social distancing and quarantine are adopted to contain the pandemic. In this context, social media could be thought of as an additional preventative resource aiding the containment of the pandemic by being a key network for communication during a crisis.Because social media usage cannot be brought down to null considering the fact that it does have some positive aspects to it in terms of disposition of useful information, we could alternatively modify the reporting to be more responsible.In conclusion, we could hypothesize that social media might surge responses for some adverse mental health conditions, increasing fear, anxiety, and panic responses, even spreading suicidal ideation and therefore impacting incidence of suicide in some way. Moreover, social media should be carefully handled, particularly during the pandemic, as social media engagement spiked. Indeed, suicide news, when not reported adequately, and most dangerous social media challenges could have devastating effects among youngest users.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Social Media/statistics & numerical data , Suicidal Ideation , Suicide/prevention & control , Humans , Mental Health/statistics & numerical data , Online Social Networking , Psychiatry/methods
15.
Asia Pac Psychiatry ; 13(3): e12482, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1352415

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Suicide prevention during Covid 19 has become a global priority because the current pandemic has led to societal difficulties threatening the fabric of our lifestyle with increased morbidity and mortality. Modelling studies published since the COVID 19 pandemic was declared in March 2020 estimate that suicide rates will increase by anywhere between 1% to 145% globally in response to the pandemic and action needs to be taken. METHODS: A narrative literature review on high quality evidence sources limited to human studies and publications written in English language only has been used to examine the relationship of COVID 19 and existing mental illness or history of mental illness, suicide prevention strategies and changes in overall suicide rates. RESULTS: A total of 39 papers are summarised and grouped using the headings aetiological factors, proposed interventions to increase access and national policies to provide a framework for suicide prevention during pandemics such as COVID 19. This review indicates that 1) investing in active labour market programmes will result in a decreased suicide rate during times of high unemployment 2) People in low paid and casual jobs require specific support because they are most financially vulnerable during a pandemic related crisis 3) Women require specific support during a pandemic because of the type of employment they have and because they often carry a greater proportion of the domestic burden and are at increased risk of domestic violence during lockdown and crisis 4) Mental health and substance misuse services need to be appropriately funded and prioritised during and post pandemic, due to the associated increase in substance misuse during a pandemic causing worsening mental health and increased risk of suicide 5) National Suicide Prevention Strategies should be developed by all countries and should anticipate response to a range of disasters, including a pandemic 6) Suicide prevention is everybody's business and National Suicide Prevention Strategies should adopt a whole-systems approach including mental health services, primary care, social care, NGO's and other community stakeholders 7) Suicide is preventable 8) It is essential to prioritise suicide prevention strategies in the COVID and post-COVID period to ensure that lives are saved. DISCUSSION: Increase in suicide is not inevitable and suicide prevention during pandemics and post COVID 19 pandemics requires a collaborative whole system approach. We require real time data to inform dynamic action planning.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Mental Disorders , Mental Health , Suicide , COVID-19/epidemiology , Global Health , Humans , Mental Disorders/diagnosis , Mental Disorders/epidemiology , Preventive Health Services , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Determinants of Health , Social Isolation/psychology , Suicide/prevention & control , Suicide/psychology , Suicide/statistics & numerical data
17.
Lancet Psychiatry ; 8(10): 892-900, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1331335

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: There is widespread concern over the impact of public health measures, such as lockdowns, associated with COVID-19 on mental health, including suicide. High-quality evidence from low-income and middle-income countries, where the burden of suicide and self-harm is greatest, is scarce. We aimed to determine the effect of the pandemic on hospital presentations for self-poisoning. METHODS: In this interrupted time-series analysis, we established a new self-poisoning register at the tertiary care Teaching Hospital Peradeniya in Sri Lanka, a lower-middle-income country. Using a standard extraction sheet, data were gathered for all patients admitted to the Toxicology Unit with self-poisoning between Jan 1, 2019, and Aug 31, 2020. Only patients classified by the treating clinician as having intentionally self-poisoned were included. Data on date of admission, age or date of birth, sex, and poisoning method were collected. No data on ethnicity were available. We used interrupted time-series analysis to calculate weekly hospital admissions for self-poisoning before (Jan 1, 2019-March 19, 2020) and during (March 20-Aug 31, 2020) the pandemic, overall and by age (age <25 years vs ≥25 years) and sex. Individuals with missing date of admission were excluded from the main analysis. FINDINGS: Between Jan 1, 2019, and Aug 31, 2020, 1401 individuals (584 [41·7%] males, 761 [54·3%] females, and 56 [4·0%] of unknown sex) presented to the hospital with self-poisoning and had date of admission data. A 32% (95% CI 12-48) reduction in hospital presentations for self-poisoning in the pandemic period compared with pre-pandemic trends was observed (rate ratio 0·68, 95% CI 0·52-0·88; p=0·0032). We found no evidence that the impact of the pandemic differed by sex (rate ratio 0·64, 95% CI 0·44-0·94, for females vs 0·85, 0·57-1·26, for males; pinteraction=0·43) or age (0·64, 0·44-0·93, for patients aged <25 years vs 0·81, 0·57-1·16, for patients aged ≥25 years; pinteraction=0·077). INTERPRETATION: This is the first study from a lower-middle-income country to estimate the impact of the pandemic on self-harm (non-fatal) accounting for underlying trends. If the fall in hospital presentations during the pandemic reflects a reduction in the medical treatment of people who have self-poisoned, rather than a true fall in incidence, then public health messages should emphasise the importance of seeking help early. FUNDING: Elizabeth Blackwell Institute University of Bristol, Wellcome Trust, and Centre for Pesticide Suicide Prevention. TRANSLATIONS: For the Sinhalese and Tamil translations of the abstract see Supplementary Materials section.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Poisoning/psychology , Self-Injurious Behavior/psychology , Adult , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cost of Illness , Developing Countries/statistics & numerical data , Female , Hospitalization/trends , Humans , Incidence , Interrupted Time Series Analysis/methods , Male , Poisoning/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Self-Injurious Behavior/epidemiology , Sri Lanka/epidemiology , Suicide/prevention & control , Suicide/psychology
19.
JAMA Netw Open ; 4(7): e2118134, 2021 07 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1321667

ABSTRACT

Importance: Diseases of despair (ie, mortality or morbidity from suicidality, drug abuse, and alcoholism) were first characterized as increasing in rural White working-class populations in midlife with low educational attainment and associated with long-term economic decline. Excess mortality now appears to be associated with working-class citizens across demographic and geographic boundaries, but no known qualitative studies have engaged residents of rural and urban locales with high prevalence of diseases of despair to learn their perspectives. Objective: To explore perceptions about despair-related illness and potential intervention strategies among diverse community members residing in discrete rural and urban hotspots. Design, Setting, and Participants: In this qualitative study, high-prevalence hotspots for diseases of despair were identified from health insurance claims data in Central Pennsylvania. Four focus groups were conducted with 60 community members in organizations and coalitions from 3 census block group hotspot clusters in the health system between September 2019 and January 2020. Focus groups explored awareness and beliefs about causation and potential intervention strategies. Main Outcomes and Measures: A descriptive phenomenological approach was applied to thematic analysis, and a preliminary conceptual model was constructed to describe how various factors may be associated with perpetuating despair and with public health. Results: In total, 60 adult community members participated in 4 focus groups (44 women, 16 men; 40 White non-Hispanic, 17 Black, and 3 Hispanic/Latino members). Three focus groups with 43 members were held in rural areas with high prevalence of diseases of despair, and 1 focus group with 17 members in a high-prevalence urban area. Four themes emerged with respect to awareness and believed causation of despair-related illness, and participants identified common associated factors, including financial distress, lack of critical infrastructure and social services, deteriorating sense of community, and family fragmentation. Intervention strategies focused around 2 themes: (1) building resilience to despair through better community and organizational coordination and peer support at the local level and (2) encouraging broader state investments in social services and infrastructure to mitigate despair-related illness. Conclusions and Relevance: In this qualitative study, rural and urban community members identified common factors associated with diseases of despair, highlighting the association between long-term political and economic decline and public health and a need for both community- and state-level solutions to address despair. Health care systems participating in addressing community health needs may improve processes to screen for despair (eg, social history taking) and codesign primary, secondary, and tertiary interventions aimed at addressing factors associated with distress. Such actions have taken on greater urgency with the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Alcoholism/prevention & control , Attitude , Residence Characteristics , Rural Population , Substance-Related Disorders/prevention & control , Suicide/prevention & control , Urban Population , Adult , Alcoholism/etiology , Awareness , COVID-19 , Delivery of Health Care , Family , Female , Focus Groups , Hope , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Peer Group , Qualitative Research , Resilience, Psychological , Social Class , Social Work , Substance-Related Disorders/etiology , Suicide/psychology , Young Adult
20.
Curr Psychiatry Rep ; 23(9): 58, 2021 07 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1316336

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: We review recent evidence on suicide among older adults, examine risk factors contributing to vulnerability to late-life suicide, and summarize possible interventions. RECENT FINDINGS: We found a steadily increasing rate of late-life suicide in the USA in the past decade. Evidence supporting the integration of depression care managers into primary care for risk reduction is among the strongest to date. Pharmacologic and neuromodulation studies should be considered in geriatric depression complicated by suicidality. Broad societal campaigns about suicide education, as well as active outreach to psychiatric patients after discharge or a suicidal crisis, prevent suicidal behavior. Growing research supports an integrative multidisciplinary approach. Suicide is a complex and multifaceted behavior with numerous casual points for intervention. Access to deadly means, presence of depression, disease, disability, and social disconnection are factors that increase vulnerability. Quality geriatric care, regular screening in primary and emergency care settings, and a multidisciplinary approach are necessary to mitigate risk factors. The COVID-19 pandemic amplifies need for a more aggressive approach.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Suicide , Aged , Humans , Pandemics , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Suicidal Ideation , Suicide/prevention & control
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