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The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is a major threat to the public. However, the comprehensive profile of suicidal ideation among the general population has not been systematically investigated in a large sample in the age of COVID-19.
A national online cross-sectional survey was conducted between February 28, 2020 and March 11, 2020 in a representative sample of Chinese adults aged 18 years and older. Suicidal ideation was assessed using item 9 of the Patient Health Questionnaire-9. The prevalence of suicidal ideation and its risk factors was evaluated.
A total of 56,679 participants (27,149 males and 29,530 females) were included. The overall prevalence of suicidal ideation was 16.4%, including 10.9% seldom, 4.1% often, and 1.4% always suicidal ideation. The prevalence of suicidal ideation was higher in males (19.1%) and individuals aged 18–24 years (24.7%) than in females (14.0%) and those aged 45 years and older (11.9%). Suicidal ideation was more prevalent in individuals with suspected or confirmed infection (63.0%), frontline workers (19.2%), and people with pre-existing mental disorders (41.6%). Experience of quarantine, unemployed, and increased psychological stress during the pandemic were associated with an increased risk of suicidal ideation and its severity. However, paying more attention to and gaining a better understanding of COVID-19-related knowledge, especially information about psychological interventions, could reduce the risk.
The estimated prevalence of suicidal ideation among the general population in China during COVID-19 was significant. The findings will be important for improving suicide prevention strategies during COVID-19.
The upsurge in the number of people affected by the COVID-19 is likely to lead to increased rates of emotional trauma and mental illnesses. This article systematically reviewed the available data on the benefits of interventions to reduce adverse mental health sequelae of infectious disease outbreaks, and to offer guidance for mental health service responses to infectious disease pandemic. PubMed, Web of Science, Embase, PsycINFO, WHO Global Research Database on infectious disease, and the preprint server medRxiv were searched. Of 4278 reports identified, 32 were included in this review. Most articles of psychological interventions were implemented to address the impact of COVID-19 pandemic, followed by Ebola, SARS, and MERS for multiple vulnerable populations. Increasing mental health literacy of the public is vital to prevent the mental health crisis under the COVID-19 pandemic. Group-based cognitive behavioral therapy, psychological first aid, community-based psychosocial arts program, and other culturally adapted interventions were reported as being effective against the mental health impacts of COVID-19, Ebola, and SARS. Culturally-adapted, cost-effective, and accessible strategies integrated into the public health emergency response and established medical systems at the local and national levels are likely to be an effective option to enhance mental health response capacity for the current and for future infectious disease outbreaks. Tele-mental healthcare services were key central components of stepped care for both infectious disease outbreak management and routine support; however, the usefulness and limitations of remote health delivery should also be recognized.
High rates of mental illness and addictions are well documented among youth in Nicaragua. Limited mental health services, poor mental health knowledge and stigma reduce help-seeking. The Mental Health Curriculum (MHC) is a Canadian school-based program that has shown a positive impact on such contributing factors. This pilot project evaluated the impact of the MHC on mental wellness and functioning among youth in Leon, Nicaragua.
High school and university students (aged 14–25 years) were assigned to intervention (12-week MHC; n = 567) and control (wait-list; n = 346) groups in a non-randomized design. Both groups completed measures of mental health knowledge, stigma and function at baseline and 12 weeks. Multivariate analyses and repeated measures analyses were used to compare group outcomes.
At baseline, intervention students showed higher substance use (mean difference [MD] = 0.24) and lower perceived stress (MD = −1.36) than controls (p < 0.05); there were no other group differences in function. At 12 weeks, controlling for baseline differences, intervention students reported significantly higher mental health knowledge (MD = 1.75), lower stigma (MD = 1.78), more adaptive coping (MD = 0.82), better lifestyle choices (MD = 0.06) and lower perceived stress (MD = −1.63) (p < 0.05) than controls. The clinical significance as measured by effect sizes was moderate for mental health knowledge, small to moderate for stigma and modest for the other variables. Substance use also decreased among intervention students to similar levels as controls (MD = 0.03) (p > 0.05).
This pilot investigation demonstrates the benefits of the MHC in a low-and-middle-income youth population. The findings replicate results found in Canadian student populations and support its cross-cultural applicability.
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