Consideration Regarding the Increase in Youth Suicides during the COVID-19 Pandemic from a Long-term Perspective
Long-term worry and anguish, increasing physical distance between people, loneliness and isolation, and job loss have all been consequences of the pandemic. Furthermore, there are concerns that the COVID-19 epidemic would lead to an upsurge in suicides, particularly among young people. Long-term trends in the number of suicides in Japan show an uptick about 1955 (with a first high in 1958), a second peak in 1986, and a third peak in 1998. These findings suggest that the age at which people are most vulnerable to suicide has shifted over time, with an increase in the younger age group gradually transferring to the middle and older age groups. Furthermore, the primary age group that saw an increase in suicides during the first peak became the primary age group that experienced an increase throughout the second and third peaks. It can be assumed that if young people grow up in societal settings that lead to an increase in suicides, they will remain at high risk even as they get older. There is yet inadequate evidence to support this conclusion, necessitating more research and data collection. The goal of this chapter is to look at the long-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic’s psychological anguish on mental health, notably in terms of a rise in suicides.
Akita University Health Center, Akita University, 1-1 Tegatagakuen-Machi, Akita City, Akita Prefecture 010-8502, Japan and Akita Occupational Health Promotion Center, Akita 010-0874, Japan.
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