Year: 2023 Source: Singapore: Springer, (2023). p. 329-349. SIEC No: 20231926
From being a public health emergency to becoming one of the worst humanitarian crises of the twenty-first century, the COVID-19 pandemic has unraveled the very fabric of human lifestyles, with mental health at the core of its concerns. Now more than ever, suicide has become a serious public health problem worldwide. Studies published after the pandemic was declared in March 2020 estimate that suicide rates will rise globally as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The WHO estimates that for each adult suicide, more than 20 others attempt suicide and suicide risk is much higher in individuals who previously attempted suicide. Hence, suicide prevention in the times of the COVID-19 pandemic has become a global priority not only due to the increased rate of mortality, but also because of exacerbation of risk factors including economic instability, poor access to healthcare facilities, basic amenities, social disconnect, and many more. The aim of this chapter is to examine the relationship between the COVID-19 pandemic and the rise in suicide rates and mental health concerns. The authors undertake an analysis of existing systems and programs put in place by the government and civil society groups to critically examine suicide prevention strategies and approaches and comment on the way forward.