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Suicide rates rise since coronavirus outbreak

Suicide rates rise since coronavirus outbreak

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 4:36pm 1st May 2020. (Updated at 4:39pm 1st May 2020)

By Richard Whitehouse, Local Democracy Reporter

New evidence suggests that the suicide rate in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has increased since the outbreak of covid-19.

A report going to the NHS Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) governing body next week details some of the work which is being done to understand the issues and mitigate further increases. 

The average monthly rate of suicides at this time last year was six but in March 2020 there were 13 recorded.

The report states: “There is no surprise that the COVID-19 situation is having an impact on the health and wellbeing of those living across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, information produced by the Suicide Surveillance Group as well as additional intelligence from Devon and Cornwall Police over recent weeks has pointed to an increase in suicide rates across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

“During the same period last year (Q4 2018/19) there were around six suicides per month on average. In comparison, during March 2020 there are now 13 suicides recorded (adults ranging from 19 to 66 years of age). We do not currently know whether COVID-19 is having a direct (e.g. fear of contracting or having the virus) or indirect (e.g. problems with debt, relationships and housing) impact on the risk of suicide.

“Alongside the existing work of the suicide prevention programme, a multiagency group including representatives from across Cornwall Council, NHS Kernow and Devon and Cornwall Police, have been working collectively to better understand the potential contributing factors and have established a revised set of targeted objectives to mitigate further increases and to bring forward future planned objectives.”

The report states that the additional objectives were implemented on March 23 and would work alongside the existing suicide prevention programme.

As part of the work a dedicated “cell” was established to lead a co-ordinated response to mental health, wellbeing and suicide prevention.

This will “drive forward an all-age agenda to prioritise community prevention, wellbeing, and resilience as well as ensuring specialist pathways are fully geared up to respond to emerging demands and enabled to deliver the very best response to provide safe and resilient future outcomes”.

NHS Kernow CCG is due to meet on Tuesday (May 5th).

Fancy some support?

If you need confidential support call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local Samaritans branch, see www.samaritans.org for details

Young people can call Papyrus 0800 068 4141 or text 07786 209697

For young people – Mind Your Way www.mindyourway.co.uk

Outlook South West www.outlooksw.co.uk

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