Have lockdowns and social distancing increased suicide rates?


We're heard lots of predictions that the increase might outweigh any possible benefit of lives saved by limiting COVID-19 spread. Three recent studies suggest, across multiple nations, either no change in suicide rates this year, or even a small decline.

As we approach 400k excess deaths this year, the data suggest that suicides are not a measurable part of the increase. Even in Victoria, which just emerged from a long and brutal second lockdown, suicide rates are unchanged from last year.

This doesn't mean we shouldn't focus on supporting our most vulnerable in every way we can, just that it's not the case that "the cure is worse than the disease".

The studies:

Trends in suicide during the covid-19 pandemic

Real-time suicide mortality data from police reports in Queensland, Australia, during the COVID-19 pandemic: an interrupted time-series analysis

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