Is a Mental Health Crisis on the Horizon? Factors Related to COVID-19 Make it Likely
| 4 min read
- Economic distress: Many people in Michigan have temporarily or permanently lost their jobs. For every percentage point increase in unemployment, suicide rates are shown to increase 1.3%.
- Isolation/quarantine: While staying home and social distancing have helped slow the spread of COVID-19, according to the report, living alone and felt loneliness are strong predictors of suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts.
- Increased substance use: Many supports people with substance use disorder turned to before the pandemic could be harder to access, making a reoccurrence of using substances more likely. Suicide data indicates that 17-24% of those who die are acutely intoxicated at the time of death. People with alcohol dependence have a higher lifetime risk of suicide death when compared to people diagnosed with bipolar disorder, depression or psychotic disorders. For people with existing substance use disorders, unemployment raises the risk for increased substance use.
- Other factors: Insomnia and sleep disorders related to COVID-19, a lack of community gatekeepers, physical health problems related to COVID-19 and increased access to firearms are other factors listed in the report that could lead to increased suicide rates directly tied to the pandemic.
- National Prevention Suicide Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
- National Hopeline Network: 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433)
- BCBSM and Behavioral Health Professionals Create Free Virtual Therapy Programs
- BCBSM Works with Providers to Launch Home-Based Substance Use Disorder Treatments
- BCBSM, BCN Extend No-Cost Telehealth Services to June 30, Including Behavioral Health
- Be Focused About Caring for Your Mental Health
- Online Support for People with Substance Use Disorders
- Mental Health Does Not Shelter in Place