Immediate Action Needed to Prevent Male Suicides During COVID-19 Crisis
We have before us a chance to possibly mitigate men’s suicide risk during COVID-19 by acting early and letting people know about helpful resources.
In this stressful period, unprecedented in our lifetime, it’s critical that the public be made aware of free helpful mental health resources. The last economic crisis in 2008- 2009 saw a significant increase in male suicides*, setting a frightening precedent that has clear implications for our current situation. We have before us a chance to possibly mitigate men’s suicide risk by acting early and letting people know that helpful resources are out there.
HeadsUpGuys is a leading global resource, based out of The University of British Columbia, that tackles depression and suicide among men, receiving more than 60,000 visits each month. Over 70% of our visitors access the site on a mobile device and about 75% of our traffic comes from organic Google searches. Related to organic searches, the top 5 search terms that bring people to our site all relate to suicidal intent, including “I want to kill myself”, “how to kill myself”, and “how to stop suicidal thoughts”. This is a clear testament to the need for encouraging greater public awareness of this resource.
I encourage you to dedicate some attention in your news programming to this important issue. I would be happy to serve as a resource to news programming for this or even participate in an interview. Additionally, I urge you to allocate some time in your on-air programming to air this PSA from HeadsUpGuys (video can be downloaded from the link provided).
Dr. John Ogrodniczuk
Professor & Director, Psychotherapy Program
Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia
* Chang Shu-Sen, Stuckler David, Yip Paul, Gunnell David. Impact of 2008 global economic crisis on suicide: time trend study in 54 countries BMJ 2013; 347 :f5239