COVID-19 and Suicide: A Deadly Association

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry

Publication Date


Document Type



Infectious Disease | Mental and Social Health | Psychiatry | Psychiatry and Psychology | Virus Diseases


COVID-19 hit the world amidst an unprecedented suicide epidemic in this century. As the world focuses on limiting the spread of the virus and prioritizing acutely medically ill patients, containment measures are not without mental health consequences. With rising anxiety and depression, risk of suicide-acutely and in the aftermath of the pandemic-also rises. This article aims to shed light on this major public health problem and better understand what factors may create or exacerbate psychiatric symptoms and suicide. We review suicide data predating the pandemic and examine impact of previous epidemics on suicide rates. We then focus on the current pandemic's impacts and the world's response to COVID-19. We examine how these may lead to increased suicide rates, focusing on the US population. Finally, we offer suggestions on mitigating interventions to curb the impending rise in suicide and the resultant increased burden on an already stretched health care system.


COVID-19, mental health, suicide, deaths of despair, pandemic, psychiatric manifestations

DOI of Published Version



Abi Zeid Daou M, Rached G, Geller J. COVID-19 and Suicide: A Deadly Association. J Nerv Ment Dis. 2021 May 1;209(5):311-319. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0000000000001338. PMID: 33835950. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

The Journal of nervous and mental disease

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID