Can real-time surveillance systems of suspected suicide accurately reflect national suicide rates? Age-specific and sex-specific findings from the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic in England: an observational study

by | May 24, 2024 | Suicide and COVID-19 | 0 comments

Turnbull et al (2023)

Using data from established systems of real-time surveillance (RTS) of suspected suicides in England, from January 2020 until the end of December 2021, this study found no rise in suicide rates during the COVID-19 pandemic to the end of December 2021.

Suicide rates fell in 2020 compared to the pre-pandemic period (January to March 2020); this decrease was driven by men, particularly those aged 25-44 years. These findings were later corroborated by official statistics.

Alignment of findings from combined local RTS systems with national official statistics demonstrates the efficacy of these early systems of data collection. These systems can provide rates of suicide deaths a year or more earlier than official statistics and offer timely information in times of crisis.

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