Suicide Following the COVID-19 Pandemic Outbreak: Variation Across Place, Over Time, and Across Sociodemographic Groups. A Systematic Integrative Review

Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2023 Jul;25(7):283-300. doi: 10.1007/s11920-023-01427-7. Epub 2023 May 25.


Purpose of review: To systematically examine changes in suicide trends following the initial COVID-19 outbreak, focusing on geographical and temporal heterogeneity and on differences across sociodemographic subgroups.

Recent findings: Of 46 studies, 26 had low risk of bias. In general, suicides remained stable or decreased following the initial outbreak - however, suicide increases were detected during spring 2020 in Mexico, Nepal, India, Spain, and Hungary; and after summer 2020 in Japan. Trends were heterogeneous across sociodemographic groups (i.e., there were increases among racially minoritized individuals in the US, young adults and females across ages in Japan, older males in Brazil and Germany, and older adults across sex in China and Taiwan). Variations may be explained by differences in risk of COVID-19 contagion and death and in socioeconomic vulnerability. Monitoring geographical, temporal, and sociodemographic differences in suicide trends during the COVID-19 pandemic is critical to guide suicide prevention efforts.

Keywords: COVID-19; Pandemic; SARS-CoV-2; Suicide; Suicide mortality; Suicide trends.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review
  • Review
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • COVID-19*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • India
  • Male
  • Pandemics
  • Suicide Prevention
  • Suicide*
  • Young Adult