Medical Director Dr. Jessica Chaudhary discusses the connection between COVID-19 and rising suicide rates and what can be done about it.
She also discusses how the pandemic has highlighted the importance of behavioral health to whole-person health.
Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that one in four Americans aged 18 to 24 had thoughts of suicide in the prior 30 days has mental health stakeholders reeling: How could the numbers be that high, even during a pandemic?
That question led Beacon Health Options to interview additional experts on suicide prevention.
It is already an alarming statistic that suicide is the 10th leading cause of death among Americans, and it’s only getting worse.
From 1999 to 2018, the suicide rate has increased by 35 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
There are several critical factors that have contributed to the rising demand for crisis services: reliance on emergency departments and law enforcement as the de facto crisis system, high suicide rates, stigma around mental illness, inadequate access to behavioral health care, and a relentless opioid epidemic.
As part of our ongoing, in-depth look at that those factors, today Beacon Lens will focus on suicide.
As a mental health professional, two experiences with suicide have stayed with me over time.
The first occurred while working on an inpatient unit. A young woman jumped five stories from a parking garage and survived.