Suicide Prevention Through COVID-19

Our once connected world has quickly morphed into one of uncertain isolation with the onset of COVID-19. With a record setting unemployment rate in the U.S., in addition to state-mandated social distancing and stay-at-home orders, many have felt a foreign unnerve and hopelessness brought on by the global pandemic. Immunity to the impact is nearly unimaginable as most of humanity white knuckles navigation through uncharted territories while weighted by the struggle of mental health issues.

After months of life altering change, mental health professionals are now feeling the effects of compassion fatigue as clientele continue to struggle with devastation. Professionals now fear that those enduring major depression and other mental illness issues will spiral towards suicidal thinking. The American Psychological Association states those at risk for suicidal thoughts are dealing with recent loss, changes in personality and routine, low self-esteem, lack of hope for the future,  and share thoughts about dying.

How do we begin to keep ourselves and loved ones safe? 

Dr. Anna McCarthy, Clinical Director of The Mental Health Collective shared, “Suicidal thoughts can stem from unbearable emotional pain and a belief that there is no other way to end that pain than to end life. During this time of pandemic uncertainty, profound economic hardship, and social isolation we anticipate an increase in mental health issues and suicidal thoughts. As a community, we can help our most vulnerable by being a listening ear, saying a kind word, reminding people that there is hope, and telling people about resources in their community to help them through mental health crises. Reminding people that they are not alone, that the current situation won’t go on forever, and that they are loved and cared for is powerful medicine in and of itself.”

If you or someone you love is experiencing depression or suicidal thoughts please seek professional help today. Mental health resources have swiftly adapted to national and international guidelines. Clinicians and counselors continue practicing via remote sessions through digital and online support. Humanity prevails through our compassion and support for one another, and it is imperative that we remember our survival is dependent on those inherent tendencies. 

Stay informed, stay connected, and remember to seek help when you need it.

Supplemental resources:

The Suicide Prevention Resource Center

The Suicide Prevention Lifeline

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Written By: S. Mishkin