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The NCISH findings on suspected suicides since the Covid-19 pandemic began

On 09 November 2020, the National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Safety in Mental Health (NCISH) published some findings on suspected suicides since the Covid-19 pandemic began on its website which can be found here:

The findings of the report cover a population of around 9 million people in England, comparing the months pre-lockdown (January-March 2020) to post-lockdown (April-August 2020).

While there will be local variation in findings, overall NCISH found there was no statistically significant increase in suspected suicides since March and the start of the pandemic.

To summarise:

1.) They have found no evidence of the large national rise in suicide post-lockdown that many feared;

2.) There appears to have been no rise in suicide post-lockdown, at least in these areas. The higher figures in 2020 should be seen in the context of a rising national rate and maturing real-time surveillance systems;

3.) There are several important caveats. These are early figures and could change over time or with the inclusion of more areas. We cannot rule out higher rates in some local areas or population subgroups, especially as the effect of COVID-19 itself has varied between communities;

4.) In particular, it is too soon to examine the full long-term impact of economic adversity on mental health and suicide.

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. Whilst this report was not commissioned by the rail industry, its findings echo what we are seeing on the rail network.

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