Infectious Disease

Child suicide attempts have increased during the COVID-19 pandemic

October 13, 2021

Read for 2 minutes

Source / information

Disclosure:
Cousien does not report any relevant financial information. Please refer to the study for all relevant financial information from the other authors.

ADD SUBJECT TO EMAIL ALERTS

Receive an email when new articles are published on

Please enter your email address to receive an email when new articles are published on . “data-action =” subscribe “> subscribe

We could not process your request. Please try again later. If this problem persists, please contact customerservice@slackinc.com.

Back to Healio

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to significant changes in the dynamics of child suicide attempts, according to the results of a cross-sectional study published on JAMA Network Open.

“Recent studies have reported deterioration in children’s mental health since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020, with an increase in anxiety and mood disorders.” Anthony Cousies, PhD, of the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Paris in France, and colleagues wrote. “The rates of suicidal ideation and attempted suicide in children were also higher as COVID-19-related stressors increased in 2020. Our goal was to better assess temporal trends in child suicide attempts while at the same time taking annual and seasonal fluctuations into account. “

Source: Adobe Stock

The researchers analyzed data from 830 children aged 15 years or younger (mean age 13.5 years; 1: 4 ratio of boys to girls) with a history of suicide attempts who went to a single pediatric emergency room between January 2010 and April 2021 Hospital. They defined a suicide attempt as “non-fatal, self-directed, potentially harmful behavior with the intention of dying as a result of the behavior”. Cousien and colleagues did not include suicide deaths in the analysis because real-time data was not available.

The results of a seasonally adjusted time series showed a 36% decrease in the number of child suicide attempts from 12.2 at its lowest level in 2019 to 7.8 during the first embargo between March 2020 and April 2020 in France. However, the researchers found a significant increase in the number of child suicide attempts between the lowest and highest levels of 12.2 and 22.5 in 2019 to 38.4 before the second lockdown began in September 2020 and October and 40.5 in early November 2020 fixed and December 2020, for corresponding increases of 116% and 299% respectively. The significant residual components that the researchers observed after March 2020 indicated that this “deviating dynamics” of suicide attempts was not related to annual seasonality and its trend over the 10-year period.

Cousies and colleagues speculated that children’s particular sensitivity to mitigation, adverse effects on family health and economic conditions, longer screen time, and social media use, or grief may have influenced this acceleration.

“There is a need for rapid deployment of evidence-based prevention and intervention strategies to address factors influencing child suicide attempts during and likely after the pandemic,” the researchers wrote.

ADD SUBJECT TO EMAIL ALERTS

Receive an email when new articles are published on

Please enter your email address to receive an email when new articles are published on . “data-action =” subscribe “> subscribe

We could not process your request. Please try again later. If this problem persists, please contact customerservice@slackinc.com.

Back to Healio

COVID-19 Resource Center

COVID-19 Resource Center

Related Articles