Year: 2022 Source: Crisis. (2022). 43:3, 197-204. SIEC No: 20220676
Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) threatens people's physical and mental health, globally, and it may even trigger suicide ideation and suicidal behavior. Aims: We aimed to examine the impact of COVID-19 on suicide risk by sampling Chinese Weibo users and analyzing their social media messages. Method: We predicted the probability of suicide (including hopelessness, suicidal ideation, negative self-evaluation, and hostility) of Weibo users in order to assess the changes in suicide probability at different times. Repeated-measures ANOVA was performed to examine the differences in suicide probability in different regions during different periods. Results: There was no significant difference in suicide probability between profoundly infected areas (PIAs) and less infected areas (LIAs) before the outbreak of COVID-19. LIAs had an increase in hopelessness during the COVID-19 growth period, while hopelessness and hostility in PIA increased during the COVID-19 decline period, indicating potential suicide probability. Limitations: Results should be interpreted with caution, and cross-cultural research may be considered in the future. Conclusion: COVID-19 has a dynamic impact on suicide probability. Using data from online social networks may help to understand the impact pattern of COVID-19 on people's suicide probability.