Suicide prevention during COVID-19: identification of groups with reduced presentations to emergency departments

Jerneja Sveticic*, Nicolas J. C. Stapelberg, Kathryn Turner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective:

Reductions in suicidal and self-harm presentations to emergency departments (EDs) since COVID-19 indicate changes in help-seeking behaviours, but it is unknown if hospital avoidance equally affects all population groups.

Method:

Socio-demographic and clinical information relating to suicidal and self-harm presentations to EDs in Queensland, Australia, were compared for the period before (March-August 2019) and since the COVID-19 outbreak (March-August 2020).

Results:

Since COVID, Indigenous Australians and persons with less severe suicidal and self-harm presentations had significantly reduced presentations, while persons younger than 18 years had more presentations. Less suicidal presentations resulted in an admission to inpatient care.

Conclusions:

Patterns of reduced attendance to ED in some groups suggest the need for innovative and community-based models of care to help prevent suicides during the pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-336
Number of pages4
JournalAustralasian Psychiatry
Volume29
Issue number3
Early online date24 Feb 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2021

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