Abuse, self-harm and suicidal ideation in the UK during the COVID-19 pandemic

Br J Psychiatry. 2020 Oct;217(4):543-546. doi: 10.1192/bjp.2020.130.

Abstract

This study explored patterns of abuse, self-harm and thoughts of suicide/self-harm in the UK during the first month of the COVID-19 pandemic using data from the COVID-19 Social Study (n=44 775), a non-probability sample weighted to population proportions. The reported frequency of abuse, self-harm and thoughts of suicide/self-harm was higher among women, Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) groups and people experiencing socioeconomic disadvantage, unemployment, disability, chronic physical illnesses, mental disorders and COVID-19 diagnosis. Psychiatric medications were the most common type of support being used, but fewer than half of those affected were accessing formal or informal support.

Keywords: COVID-19; abuse; mental health; self-harm; thoughts of suicide or self-harm.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Betacoronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections* / epidemiology
  • Coronavirus Infections* / prevention & control
  • Coronavirus Infections* / psychology
  • Domestic Violence* / prevention & control
  • Domestic Violence* / psychology
  • Domestic Violence* / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders* / epidemiology
  • Mental Disorders* / virology
  • Mental Health Services
  • Middle Aged
  • Pandemics* / prevention & control
  • Pneumonia, Viral* / epidemiology
  • Pneumonia, Viral* / prevention & control
  • Pneumonia, Viral* / psychology
  • Prevalence
  • Psychosocial Support Systems
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Self-Injurious Behavior* / epidemiology
  • Self-Injurious Behavior* / prevention & control
  • Self-Injurious Behavior* / psychology
  • Social Isolation / psychology
  • Suicidal Ideation
  • Suicide* / prevention & control
  • Suicide* / psychology
  • Suicide* / statistics & numerical data
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology