Work-Related Stress, Global Pandemic & US Suicide Rates
Suicide. How do we clean it up? What do we do about it? Suicide rates across the United States have reached a historic high and 2020 is to blame!
While social distancing exaggerated depression, anxiety and the feeling of isolation, job loss and businesses struggling intensified work-related stress.
It’s clear that the fear and anxiety around job cuts and businesses going bust in 2020 caused considerable heartache for American families. In fact, unemployment figures were higher in the first three months of Covid-19, than in two years of the Great Recession. (3) The US economic downturn due to the global pandemic led to serious financial problems for many industries and amounted to considerable debt. These factors only heightened the risk of suicide.
As we see the rise in American suicide rates, you might think this problem is exclusive to the US, but shockingly in Japan, more people died from suicide in one month, than in the whole year from Covid-19. Michiko Ueda, a professor at Waseda University in Tokyo and an expert on suicide explained that the country saw a spike in suicide cases, despite having no lockdown during the global pandemic. (4) With this data, more research is needed into why 2020 led to a sharp rise in suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts and fatalities.
For now, Congress is considering putting in place some initial steps to address the growing rate of suicide. And four bills are being considered that would address suicide prevention and education. American Psychiatric Association President Jeffrey Geller said In the same way, we educate people about wearing masks and social distancing, we should be educating people about depression.’ (5)