Mental health experts have come together to call on governments to give “urgent consideration” on how to deal with a potential spike in suicide rates as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Forty two specialists have put their name to an article in The Lancet Psychiatry to say that the consequences to mental health of COVID-19 are “likely to be present for longer and peak later” than the actual outbreak itself.
Although the experts said a spike in suicide rates is “not inevitable”, it could be like those seen in the wake of the Spanish flu and SARS.
The group of 42 researchers have formed a group called the International COVID-19 Suicide Prevention Research Collaboration.
The said in the article: “Suicide is likely to become a more pressing concern as the pandemic spreads and has longer-term effects on the general population, the economy, and vulnerable groups,.
“Preventing suicide therefore needs urgent consideration. The response must capitalize on, but extend beyond, general mental health policies and practices.”