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Livestream Event on Suicide Prevention During COVID: A Continuing Priority


September 22, 2021




During National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) hosted a livestream event on suicide prevention during the pandemic, focusing on unemployment, youth, and other population subgroups who may be experiencing elevated risk.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggest that overall suicide death rates have remained steady or have even fallen  during the pandemic. However, the pandemic has not affected all Americans equally. Job loss, housing instability, food insecurity, and other risk factors for poor outcomes have disproportionately impacted minority communities . Data from some states suggest the number of African Americans dying by suicide increased  in the early days of the pandemic. Also, recently CDC reported  that emergency room visits for suspected suicide attempts started to increase among adolescents ages 12 to 17—especially among girls—during the pandemic.

The discussion was led by:

  • Stephen O’Connor, Ph.D., chief of the Suicide Prevention Research Program in the NIMH Division of Services and Intervention Research
  • Lynsay Ayer, Ph.D., NIMH Senior Advisor on Youth and Suicide Prevention


Read transcript.