Coronavirus pandemic creates suicide risk. ‘This could last years’

After years of a steady climb in suicide deaths, prevention advocates worry there could be a mental health fallout from the coronavirus pandemic for years to come.

Consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic are also risk factors for suicide, experts say, including prolonged isolation, a down economy with massive job losses, and an uptick in domestic violence.

That could lead to more suicides in the coming months, or even years, said Jonathan Singer, associate professor of social work at Loyola University Chicago and president of the Washington, D.C.-based American Association of Suicidology.

“We’ve never been through this before, so we don’t actually know, but there are things that concern me,” he said, adding that studies show much of what 

And studies also show that when a parent dies by suicide, children’s risk also increases, Singer added. “So, this could last years.”

The U.S. is already experiencing a tragic trend when it comes to suicide. From 1999 through 2018, the most recent year available, suicide rates increased by 35%, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, making it the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S.

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