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Covid-19: Suicide rates were static in rich countries in first months of pandemic, study finds

BMJ 2021; 373 doi: (Published 14 April 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;373:n977

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What has been the effect of covid-19 on suicide rates?

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  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. London

Numbers of suicides in high and upper middle income countries remained largely unchanged or were lower than expected levels in the early months of the covid-19 pandemic, shows a study in the Lancet Psychiatry.1

The authors said that many countries put in place additional mental health supports and financial safety nets that may have helped to ameliorate early adverse effects of the pandemic. However, they emphasised that governments needed 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.

The study looked at numbers of suicides in 21 high income and upper middle income countries and regions between 1 April and 31 July 2020. Researchers used real time data on suicide numbers obtained from official government sources and compared them with trends in suicides in the previous 1-4 years. The study included …

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