Year: 2023 Source: Archives of Suicide Research. (2023). 27(2), 554-564. DOI: 10.1080/13811118.2021.2022052 SIEC No: 20231225
Suicide rates reflect the mental health status in certain countries or regions. As the COVID-19 infection developed as a pandemic and governments imposed certain measures to stop the spread of the virus, mental health was affected worldwide. Romania was no exception as the government issued a complete lockdown with restriction regarding travels, social gatherings, transition to working from home and others. The increase in the rate of unemployment, the difficulties in accessing the health services and the social distancing generated by the restrictions had a major impact on lifestyle with a potential surge of psychiatric disorders, with or without history of illness. In this study, we analyzed the changes in regard to the number of suicides and suicide attempts as well as the methods employed and the underlying psychiatric pathology in Cluj County, Romania, throughout the first year of the pandemic. The results had not revealed changes in the overall suicide rate, but in the case of mild cognitive disorders and dementia the suicide figures increased, while a decrease was observed in the number of suicides related to substance use disorders. The long-term effects of the pandemic remain unknown, but there is a clear impact on mental health and measures should be taken in order to prevent suicides.