Suicides declined during pandemic
Mental health has become a major problem during the pandemic. Those reporting feelings of anxiety or depression jumped 30 percentage points between 2019 and 2020, according the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Despite that, the incidences of suicide did not increase due to the pandemic. In fact, suicides actually dropped, despite more people expressing feelings of hopelessness and despair.
Preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that deaths by suicide declined 5.6% between 2019 and 2020. It’s a small decrease, but it’s a far cry from what many expected to happen as a result of lockdown orders and job losses.
Although suicides declined, people are still struggling. The non-profit public health group Well Being Trust advocates for more mental health services.
“We saw the number of calls to the national mental health crisis hotline in March 2020 was 891% higher than the year before,” said Chief Strategy Officer Benjamin Miller. “People were reaching out and using those services, which is a positive thing and likely made a difference for some.”
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