The Spanish Flu pandemic and stable New Zealand suicide rates: historical lessons for COVID-19

Tarun Bastiampillai, Stephen Allison, David Smith, Roger Mulder, Jeffrey Cl Looi

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

Abstract

There were initial concerns that the COVID-19 pandemic might significantly increase worldwide suicide rates, due to the combined effects of economic recession, rising unemployment, job insecurity, income shock, social isolation, possible barriers to receiving mental health treatment, increased alcohol use, strained relationships, increased levels of national anxiety and distress Also, if the COVID-19 pandemic were to trigger another 1929–1930s “Great Depression” and raise unemployment by potentially 15–20%, suicide rates could increase by at least 15%, with working age men being the highest risk group. Stuckler et al reported that within European Union countries between 1970 and 2007, every 1% increase in unemployment rate was associated with a 0.79% increase in suicide rate for those aged under 65...
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-137
Number of pages4
JournalThe New Zealand medical journal
Volume134
Issue number1541
Publication statusPublished - 3 Sep 2021

Keywords

  • Pandemics
  • Spanish Flu
  • COVID-19
  • Suicide

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The Spanish Flu pandemic and stable New Zealand suicide rates: historical lessons for COVID-19'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this