The COVID-19 pandemic is testing us in many ways. Considering all that’s happening, emotional support is key. We should be able to discuss how we’re handling our challenges. It’s not easy to start a conversation about how the
A Mental Health
A side-effect of COVID-19 may be another pandemic — a mental health one. The social distancing guidelines, financial stress, lifestyle changes and fear of infection may cause a decline in general mental health for years to come.
The Perfect Storm
According to a recent article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association titled “Suicide Mortality and Coronavirus Disease 2019 — A Perfect Storm?”, the unprecedented COVID
Even before the pandemic, America’s suicide rate was at an uptick. Data obtained from United Health Foundation indicates that the suicide rate has grown 25.4% since 1999. In 2017, there were 47,000 deaths by suicide, ranking it as the tenth leading cause of death that year. Sadly, there were twice the number of suicides (47,173) than homicides (19,510).
According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, women attempt suicide 1.5 times more than males. However, males have a higher rate of suicide due to their more lethal choices in methods.
Why is there a higher rate of suicide attempts in women?
Women may be more likely than men to attempt suicide to try to communicate their emotional pain. Additionally, women experience depression at higher rates than men do. The COVID
How can we flatten the curve of the potential mental health pandemic? We can have a conversation.
Having the Conversation
Acknowledging the emotional stress caused by the
Although it may feel like it goes against old norms, talking about suicide doesn’t cause suicide. On the contrary – it offers a person going through turmoil an opening to discuss their pain and, perhaps, ask for assistance. Allowing another person to discuss their difficulties, and sharing our own, can create a sense of community and support – both of which we all need.
The Mental Health Impact on Women
Women are disproportionately impacted by
The American Medical Association offered the same insights in their surveys. Almost half of the women (46%) reported mental health impacts due to the
Talking openly about our feelings can collectively help flatten the mental health curve. Having a conversation about emotional challenges encourages shared support, and relieves the burden from each other.
If you are experiencing feelings of self-harm, or know someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).