Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

There’s growing concern about the far-reaching impact COVID-19 may have on people’s mental health across the globe, with the consequences likely to be present for longer and peak later than the actual pandemic.

Forty-two researchers from around the world, including Professor Keith Hawton from the Centre for Suicide Research, have formed the International COVID-19 Suicide Prevention Research Collaboration, convened by Professor David Gunnell from the University of Bristol.

An increase in suicides is not inevitable - provided preventive action is taken imminently, conclude the authors of an editorial published in The Lancet Psychiatry.

Examples of interventions include:

  • Developing clear care pathways for people who are suicidal
  • Remote or digital assessments for people under mental health care
  • Staff training to support new ways of working
  • Support for helplines, providing easily accessible help for those who have lost a loved one to the virus
  • The provision of financial safety nets and labour market programmes
  • Dissemination of evidence-based online interventions
  • Guidance for the media on responsible reporting on suicide

  

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 capitalise on, but extend beyond, general mental health policies and practices. - Authors of The Lancet Psychiatry editorial.

 

The global group of experts said, "The pandemic will cause distress and leave many vulnerable. Mental health consequences are likely to be present for longer and peak later than the actual pandemic. However, research evidence and the experience of national strategies provide a strong basis for suicide prevention. We should be prepared to take the actions highlighted here, backed by vigilance and international collaboration."

The International COVID-19 Suicide Prevention Research Collaboration also reiterate how irresponsible media reporting of suicide can encourage further suicides. Journalists should ensure that reporting follows existing and COVID-19-specific guidelines.

 

 

 

To read the full editorial.

To find out more about the Centre for Suicide Research.

NIHR OXFORD HEALTH BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH CENTRE NEWS

Please follow the link below to read the news on the NIHR BRC website.

Similar stories

New Research Presented at the ECNP Conference - October 2021

Dr Angharad de Cates and Dr Liliana Capitão were just two of the department's researchers presenting and publishing new research at the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP) Conference 2021, in Lisbon.

Researchers Address Mental Health Effects of the Pandemic on Young People

In a new policy briefing, a team of researchers at King’s College London and Oxford University highlight the multiple effects that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on children and young people in the UK through their education and daily life, including challenges around social isolation, academic pressures, adjusting to online learning and coping with reopening of schools.

Turing Fellowships for Over 30 Oxford Academics

Professor John Geddes, WA Handley-elect Chair of Psychiatry, is one of the thirty-three University of Oxford researchers, which have been named Turing Fellows for the 2021/22 academic year.

Simple Intervention Effectively Treats Depression During COVID 19

New research shows that even a very simple intervention, administered by non-specialists with just 15 hours of training, can effectively treat depression during COVID-19.

Over a Third of COVID-19 Patients Diagnosed with at Least One Long-COVID Symptom

A new study from the University of Oxford and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Oxford Health Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) investigated long-COVID in over 270,000 people recovering from COVID-19 infection, using data from the US-based TriNetX electronic health record network.