| 4.7°C Belfast

Suicides could rise due to pandemic, psychiatrists warn

Pressures of lockdown, job losses and the economic downturn due to Covid-19 could contribute to the toll.

Close

The number of suicides could rise due to the pandemic, psychiatrists warned (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The number of suicides could rise due to the pandemic, psychiatrists warned (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The number of suicides could rise due to the pandemic, psychiatrists warned (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The number of suicides could rise due to the pandemic, psychiatrists warned.

The pressures of lockdown, job losses and the economic downturn due to Covid-19 could contribute to the toll, the Royal College of Psychiatrists in Northern Ireland added.

It urged mental health services to have a plan in place.

Dr Gerry Lynch, consultant psychiatrist at RCPsych in Northern Ireland, said: “History has taught us that at times of economic and social upheaval, including changes to everyday life, this can lead to an increase in self-harm.

“The pandemic has caused many problems.

“Financial stresses, job losses, bereavement, isolation, a rise in domestic violence and addictions all contribute to suicidal thoughts.

“We need to work together to stop a potential rise in people taking their own lives.”

Recent statistics from the Samaritans revealed the charity supported nearly 645,000 callers across the UK in the first 13 weeks of lockdown, with volunteers reporting that one in three callers talked about Covid-19 and were generally more anxious and stressed.

The College is calling for mental health services in Northern Ireland to be ready and have a concrete plan in place to help people at risk.

PA