Mitigating the Perils of Suicide Associated with Covid-19 Pandemic

  • Naeem Aslam Chughtai National Institute of Psychology, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad
  • Ammar Ahmed
Keywords: COVID 19, Suicide, mental health


Background: The mental health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic might be devastating. It has been expected that suicide-related deaths would rise over time, therefore urgent consideration is needed. In this article, we are identifying the individuals who are at heightened risks of suicide or are actively suicidal. Early identification of both external factors (bereavement, job loss, trauma, displacement, stigma, discrimination, victimization) and internal factors (hopelessness, despair, suicidal impulses, psychotic and manic episode, posttraumatic stress, and substance use) of suicide would be helpful to mitigate the risk of suicide.

Methods: Review of recently published articles that discuss the probability of suicide due to COVID-19 and that was available at PubMed, PsycINFO, and LISTA. 

Results: Individuals with a prior history of suicide, having serious emotional and/or medical complications, individuals with substance use disorders and facing serious withdrawal symptoms, isolated and bereaved individuals, people having serious financial complications, unemployment or job loss, and those who are combating COVID 19 as a front line worker are highly vulnerable for self-harm. 

Conclusions: Careful regular monitoring, screening, and detailed assessment of suicidal thoughts in high-risk populations would be helpful in harm reduction. Evidence-based online interventions and careful face to face interactive services are helpful. Specialized training for the workforce on crisis management would have additional benefits. The government should provide adequate resources to manage the COVID-19 crisis.



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