During lockdown and the on-going situation with Covid-19, the NSPA has been holding online discussions around suicide prevention and bereavement support, bringing together people from public health, the NHS, charities and businesses to share their challenges and ideas (summaries of these discussions are here)[make link to summaries page]. We have learned a lot, and have now created a range of resources and case studies exploring in more detail how organisations have responded to Covid-19 and continued to deliver their work reaching and supporting people.
- Staff well-being and support
- Adapting Services and support
- Training Online
On 19th October, the NSPA hosted a webinar on Reaching and Supporting Children and Young People During Covid-19. It included three organisations with different services, all of which have had to adapt in response to Covid-19. Sarah Skelton, Head of Programme Development at PAPYRUS UK talked about the change in demand and their HOPELINE, Laura Brown, Kooth PLC Regional Development Manager for Midlands and East of England discussed the impact on BAME young people and Suzie Phillips Associate Director at Winston’s Wish shared insights on bereavement.
- Full webinar (56.32 minutes)
- Sarah Skelton, Papyrus (11.34 minutes)
- Laura Brown, Kooth PLC (12.53 minutes)
- Suzie Phillips, Winston’s Wish (15.16 minutes)
On 16th October, NSPA hosted a webinar exploring Self-Harm during Covid-19. It included two organisations with different services: Keith Waters, Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Multicentre Study of Self-harm and Claire Dixon, Training Service Manager (Sales) and Specialist Trainer at Harmless who shared their insights from many years in the field and their response to Covid-19.
- Full webinar (57.41 minutes)
- Keith Waters, Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Multicentre Study of Self-harm (10.40 minutes)
- Claire Dixon, Harmless (13.22 minutes)
NCISH examined the suicide figures established by “real-time surveillance” (RTS) systems in several parts of England, total population 9 million, comparing the months pre-lockdown (January-March 2020) to postlockdown (April-August 2020). The average number of suicides per month varied but there was no evidence of a rise post-lockdown. The post-lockdown figures were higher than in the equivalent period in 2019 but this should be understood in the context of rising suicide rates and improving RTS systems. Several important caveats apply, and these findings do not rule out higher figures in some areas or as a result of a future economic downturn.
Read the report
This report examines how the mental health effects of the pandemic might be profound and there are suggestions that suicide rates will rise, although this is not inevitable. Suicide is likely to become a more pressing concern as the pandemic spreads and has longer-term effects. Preventing suicide therefore needs urgent consideration.
Suicide risk and prevention during the COVID-19 pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increase in the unemployment rate worldwide. In this study they modelled the effect of unemployment on suicide on the basis of global public data from 63 countries, and they observed that suicide risk was elevated by 20–30% when associated with unemployment during 2000–11 (including the 2008 economic crisis). They have now used this model to predict the effects of the currently expected rise in the unemployment rate on suicide rates.
COVID-19, unemployment, and suicide
On 15th September NSPA hosted a webinar exploring the issues facing men during Covid-19, and how organisations are reaching out to and supporting them. It featured presentations from Joe Potter, Policy Manager at Samaritans and Ellen O’Donoghue, CEO of James’ Place, as well as time for questions from participants.
- Full webinar (58.31 minutes)
- Joe Potter, Samaritans (17.36 minutes)
- Ellen O’Donoghue, James’ Place (17.07 minutes)
This report presents close to real time intelligence on the mental health and wellbeing of the population in England during the COVID-19 pandemic. It compiles routinely updated indicators from multiple sources and summarises important recent findings from a pre-defined set of studies. It aims to inform policy, planning and commissioning in health and social care and is designed to assist stakeholders at both national and local level.
To support the nation’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic a coalition of over 50 voluntary and social sector organisations have urged the government to work with them to create a new mental health renewal plan for England. This report outlines recommendations for a mentally healthier society.
A New Social Contract for a mentally healthier society
This briefing was written by Centre for Mental Health with expert input from members of a task group delegated by a group of national mental health charities that are working together to understand and respond to inequalities experienced during the pandemic.
Covid-19: understanding inequalities in mental health during the pandemic
This is Centre for Mental Health’s second forecast on the implications of Covid-19 for the mental health of the UK population, in both the short- and long term.
Covid-19 and the nation’s mental health
The Mental Health Foundation is leading this ongoing, UK-wide, long-term study of how the pandemic is affecting people’s mental health, working with the University of Cambridge, Swansea University, the University of Strathclyde and Queen’s University Belfast.
Coronavirus: Mental Health in the Pandemic