The world is in crisis and people are hurting in countless ways. Many are those who are distressed and struggling without one empathic look, one word or deed of sympathy. The religion of Christ is about love and compassion for “our neighbors”. It is about identifying our interests with those of humanity and supporting people in their needs independently of their culture, color or creed.
It is well known that suicide rates tend to increase in times of crisis and uncertainty. Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, people around the world have been exposed to a number of stressors:
- major changes in everyday routines including work, studies, social connections and leisure activities.
- media coverage of the COVID crisis leading to distortions in the perception of risks.
- duration and repetition of lockdowns: leading for some to households’ conflicts or violence and for others to increased feelings of loneliness and isolation.
- collateral damages of Covid-19 for those with preexisting health conditions due to a prioritization of the Covid-19 over other diseases.
- unemployment or financial insecurity for a large proportion of individuals.
- high work pressure for front-line medical professionals.
As a consequence, in 2020, a number of countries have observed a deterioration in the mental health of their populations - with a decompensation of previous psychiatric disorders and an increasing number of individuals suffering from depression and anxiety disorders - as well as a higher prevalence of reported thoughts and behaviors of self-harm among people with Covid-19.
In this context, it is important keep in mind that:
1. The risks for suicide are presently increased and can further be impacted by the prolongation of the pandemic and its economic repercussions.
2. Triggers for suicide include feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, despair and social isolation.
3. Suicide is preventable and each one of us can potentially be confronted with a circumstance where we can make the difference.
IS A CALL TO CARE!
1. S. Pinto et al. (2020) COVID-19 Suicide Survivors -A Hidden Grieving Population, Front Psychiatry.
2. John et al. (2020) Trends in suicide during the covid-19 pandemic, BMJ.