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Suicide rate up 25.7% in 2020, says PSA

Cases of deaths due to self-harm increased in the Philippines in 2020, the year the COVID-19 pandemic wreck havoc on the economy.

Based on latest figures from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), deaths due to "intentional self-harm" was up to 3,529 in 2020 — a 25.7% increase compared to the 2,808 recorded in 2019.

"Deaths due to intentional self-harm recorded a 25.7 percent increase from the previous year, making it the 27th leading cause of death in 2020, from rank 31 in 2019," the PSA said.

Experts have earlier said that the coronavirus pandemic is likely to have a "profound and pervasive impact" on global mental health as billions struggle to cope with isolated living and anxiety spikes.

In a paper published in Lancet Psychiatry, a panel of 24 specialists call for more funding for research into the impacts COVID-19 may have on society's mental well-being.

In the Philippines, a survey conducted by  OCTA Research from January 26 to February 1, 2021, showed that 28% of Filipinos experienced emotional problems like stress or extreme sadness due to the pandemic.

According to the Department of Health (DOH) in August last year, the National Center of Mental Health (NCMH) received an average of 53 suicide-related calls amid the pandemic.

The NCMH crisis hotline received a high volume of calls during the months of April, May, June, and July, but the peak was in June with 1,115 calls. —KBK, GMA News


If you need or know someone who needs to talk to someone, Hopeline, the 24/7 suicide prevention hotline, may be reached at (02) 804-4673; 0917-5584673