Mental health responses to COVID-19
While the current context is different and evolving, previous experiences with pandemics will indicate that preventing suicide needs urgent consideration within the COVID-19 Response.
The Lancet reportsthat suicide is likely to become a more pressing concern as the pandemic spreads and has longer-term effects on the general population. (https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanpsy/article/PIIS2215-0366(20)30171-1/fulltext)
The article gathers public health responses to mitigating suicide risks, including:
- Selective and indicated interventions for individuals who are at heightened risk of suicide or are actively suicidal; designed to reduce risk of suicide among these individuals
- Universal interventions for the whole population and focus on particular risk factors without identifying specific individuals with those risk factors; designed to improve mental health and reduce suicide risk across the population
The article calls for continuing research and international collaboration especially drawing on the experience of national strategies to provide a strong basis for suicide prevention.