Calls to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline have spiked 300% amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to KVLY, while the Sacramento Bee reports that other suicide prevention services have similarly risen for the same reasons.
“It’s so scary, it’s almost like … I would rather be dead,” said suicidal writer Danielle Sinay, who lives in New York City. “I mean, I wouldn’t be, but sometimes I get so scared it feels like that.”
President Donald Trump, who has been pressing to lift restrictions on most people as soon as possible, has warned of “suicides by the thousands” if people remain isolated, Forbes reported.
More than 487,000 cases of the COVID-19 virus have been confirmed worldwide with more than 22,000 deaths as of March 26, according to Johns Hopkins University. The United States has more than 69,000 confirmed cases with more than 1,000 deaths. –Sacramento Bee
(That figure topped 523,000 infected and 23,639 deaths as of this writing just hours later, according to the same source).
“There are ramifications, sometimes fatal, with events like these that are not just related to getting infected or dying from infection or consequences of infection,” said Eric Caine, co-director of the Center for the Study of Prevention of Suicide at the University of Rochester Medical Center, in a statement to USA Today.
“Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Coping with stress will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger,” said the CDC in a statement.
Meanwhile, the national crisis text line, they handled 6,000 text conversations last week – approximately twice the normal volume according to spokeswoman Ashley Womble.
In Portland, Oregon, suicide-related 911 calls rose 23 percent in the past 10 days, compared to the 10 days before the city declared an emergency, The Oregonian reported. All 911 calls in the city dropped 10 percent in the same period.
Other suicide prevention efforts in Portland report rising calls from people who feel anxious, depressed or frightened, but not in calls from those feeling acutely suicidal, according to the publication. Officials fear that may change. –Sacramento Bee
“If this nears a large disaster like Hurricane Katrina, there is a flood coming,” said Chris Bouneff, who heads up the Oregon chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, according to The Oregonian.
And at the largest suicide prevention hotline in Massachusetts, the Samaritans, they received 350 calls per day last week, up from 250 – 275 calls they normally receive according to the Boston Globe. Text messages in March are on pace to reach a record high of more than 1,000.
Tips to fight anxiety (via the Sacramento Bee)
“Isolation is a big trigger for a lot of people,” according to California social worker Norine VanderHooven. “People are becoming so anxious because they don’t know what to expect. Anxiety is fear of the unexpected or unknown.”
Experts suggest that people keep to a routine schedule, exercise, eat a healthy diet, meditate and take walks to quell anxiety, The Boston Globe reported.
Avoid information overload if it increases your fear and stave off feelings of isolation by staying in touch with friends or family by phone or online, according to the publication.
“None of us are immune to this feeling of anxiety and stress,” said Leticia Sainz, interim deputy director of Multnomah County’s behavioral health division, The Oregonian reported. “I think we’re still really seeing the beginnings of the effects of this.” –Sacramento Bee
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health or suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800 273-8255 or text the Crisis Text Line at 741741.
That’s simple . . . Do it! Or, Be a REAL man or WOMAN and face the CHALLENGE. Or, better yet, be a “contributor to the just cause”. Team Trump and his allies 2020.
The media has to lighten up on all this doom and gloom crap, The President has been for years trying to get manufactured goods produced here, including medical equipment, the CEO’s need to stop worrying about bottom lines and show concern for the citizens
Imagine if the Japanese in 1937 produced armaments for the US because the profits were good
This is not a joke folks, we do need to get back to work- this does not have to be one way or the other, we need to find a balanced middle ground. I have already had a client whose husband committed suicide four days ago. Yes, he was a long term sufferer of depression, but this isolation, fear of losing his job, ginned up fears from watching doomsday news reports pushed him over the edge- he will not be the last. If we do not get the 75-80% of those who are not at risk of dying from this disease – the elderly, and those with preexisting conditions, back to work and save the economy from going into depression which will affect 90% of the population then more people will die. Poverty, fear, anxiety/depression, loss of jobs, homes, increased crime, domestic violence, will lead to many more deaths then this virus will. We can keep those at risk home, the rest of us may catch it but have a high likelihood of having a mild reaction and those who have a more serious one will get treatments- but we will be able to keep the economy going, support those in self-isolation and prevent a REAL DISASTER!
Get perspective people as of today 25,278 people have died worldwide from this illness- out of nearly 7 Billion People! that is far less than 1% of the population and that is just over 25K our of 559,143 People who have gotten it- a very small percentage!
Right now we are all suffering from mass hysteria and overreaction-
our current response is akin to – Cutting off your foot- to Cure Toe Fungus!