Suicide deaths have declined during the pandemic, but experts warn the toll might be yet to come
Suicide deaths have declined during covid. This is the 3rd article I have read that is talking about how suicides have actually decreased during the pandemic. Even with a decrease in suicides during the pandemic, it does not mean that there have not been many families affected by the loss of loved ones this year due to suicide.
While the calamitous nature of the pandemic sent Canadians’ stress and anxiety levels soaring, it may actually have had the opposite effect on suicide deaths. Data from across the country show the numbers of deaths from suicides actually decreased in 2020.
The trauma from a year of lockdowns and social distancing — lost jobs, broken relationships, bankrupt businesses — has been well-documented in the mental health statistics. Polling data from the Mental Health Commission of Canada and the Canadian Centre on Substance Use in October found that more than half of Canadians were dealing with some sort of mental health illness. Calls to Canada Suicide Prevention Service were up 200 percent in 2020 over 2019. To cope with the stress, loneliness or boredom, Canadians were drinking more, smoking more and doing more drugs.
I post this to push back a little against the ongoing narrative I see on social media about how suicide stats are growing. There is enough doomscrolling online without adding to it. I do agree with this quote from the article:
Similar trends have been seen in other times of major trauma, say experts, such as during wars and natural disasters. The actual toll of the pandemic on mental health and suicide rates may not be fully realized until years from now.
Click here for the entire article.
Here is a link to the CAMH PDF called Hope and Healing After Suicide. Click Here.