It has been called a “second pandemic” with charities across the UK warning of a growing mental health crisis since the first Covid restrictions began.
But because it takes months for suicides to be formally recorded, there are, as yet, no official figures on suicides over the past year. That means its too soon to know whether the virus has affected the number of people taking their own lives.
However, new figures from England’s ambulance services, shared with ITV News, suggest some areas have experienced a spike in calls related to suicide or suicide attempts.
In the first six months after lockdown, from March to November 2020, London Ambulance Service recorded 15,541 calls relating to suicide or attempted suicide. That compares to 11,703 calls over the same period in 2019.
If you or someone you know if struggling with your mental health, you can get help here:
- Samaritans operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year, by calling 116 123. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at [email protected]
- Rethink Mental Illness offer practical advice and information for anyone affected by mental health problems on a wide range of topics including treatment, support and care. Phone 0300 5000 927 (Mon-Fri 9.30am-4pm) or visit rethink.org
- Mind also offer mental health support between 9am and 6pm, Monday to Friday. You can call them on 0300 123 3393 or text them on 86463. There is also lots of information available on their website.
- Campaign Against Living Miserably’s (CALM) helpline and webchat are open from 5pm until midnight, 365 days a year. Call CALM on 0800 58 58 58 or chat to their trained helpline staff online. No matter who you are or what