Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


Trends in suicide during the covid-19 pandemic

BMJ 2020; 371 doi: (Published 12 November 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;371:m4352

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Rapid Response:

Re: Trends in suicide during the covid-19 pandemic

Dear Editor

Professor John’s and colleagues’ editorial on trends in suicide during the covid-19 pandemic is greatly welcomed by those of us working to mitigate suicide risk during the crisis.

‘Real-time surveillance’ (RTS) systems represent our best and most timely method of spotting early trends and risks in order to put preventive measures in place but evidence suggests that just 1/6 of the country currently has robust RTS systems in place (1) . The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the pressing need for all areas to implement Real Time Surveillance systems as a matter of urgency.

(1) Suicide in England since the COVID-19 pandemic - early figures from real-time surveillance, University Of Manchester, 2020:

Competing interests: No competing interests

07 December 2020
Mike McHugh
public health consultant
Essex County Council