Study Says Number of Young Adults Having Suicidal Thoughts Increased During First Coronavirus Lockdown

Daniel Davies
·2-min read

From Men's Health

University of Glasgow researchers have found that rates of suicidal thoughts among young adults rose sharply during the first coronavirus lockdown.

Their study, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, examined the effect Covid-19 had on different groups at the outset of the original coronavirus lockdown.

By surveying 3077 adults three times from 31 March to 11 May, they found that the proportion of respondents reporting that on at least one day in the previous week they had wanted to end their life increased from 8.2% to 9.2% and then to 9.8%, over the three waves of the study.

These rates were highest in young adults (aged 18-29), rising from 12.5% to 14.4% throughout the three waves.

Rory O’Connor, lead author and chair in health psychology at the University of Glasgow, said, “The findings from our study, showing in particular the increasing rates of suicidal thoughts, especially among young adults, is concerning, and show that we must be vigilant to this at-risk group.”

Although the study found that suicidal thoughts had increased, it did also find that that symptoms of anxiety, levels of defeat and entrapment all decreased over the six weeks of the study. Positive wellbeing also increased, while there was no significant change in levels of loneliness.

What to Do If You're Worried Someone You Know Is Having Suicidal Thoughts

If you're worried that someone you know is having suicidal thoughts read this article on how to spot the signs of suicidal thoughts and this article on what to do if you think your mate is suicidal.

If it's you who is having suicidal thoughts, it's important to tell someone. Reach out to someone you trust or contact one of the free helplines below. They're there to help when you're feeling down or desperate.

Samaritans – for everyone

Call: 116 123
Email:
jo@samaritans.org

Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) – for men

Call 0800 58 58 58 – 5pm to midnight every day
Visit the webchat page

Papyrus – for people under 35

Call: 0800 068 41 41 – 9am to midnight every day
Text: 07860 039967
Email: pat@papyrus-uk.org

Childline – for children and young people under 19

Call 0800 1111 – the number will not show up on your phone bill

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