Child Suicide Becomes ‘International Epidemic’ Amid COVID Restrictions

Mar 26, 2021

COVID-19, with its accompanying government restrictions, has created an unexpected, expansive mental health crisis in the U.S. and in countries around the world.

The Atlanta-based Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) has reported on and extensively documented the unintended consequences of COVID lockdowns, including isolation, depression, suicidality, unemployment, drug abuse and domestic violence. A FEE article from March 16, 2021, cited reports from physicians around the world monitoring results of COVID restrictions.

Dr. David Greenhorn, who works in the emergency department at England’s Bradford Royal Infirmary, told the Associated Press (AP) that the number of mental health crises he has seen has gone from a couple per week pre-pandemic to now several per day.

“This is an international epidemic, and we are not recognizing it,” Greenhorn said. “In an 8-year-old’s life, a year is a really, really, really long time. They are fed up. They can’t see an end to it.”

Dr. Richard Delorme, who leads the psychiatric department at one of the largest children’s hospitals in France, spoke to AP of the increasing preoccupation on suicide among children.

“We are very surprised by the intensity of the desire to die among children who may be 12 or 13 years old,” Delorme said. “We sometimes have children of 9 who already want to die. And it’s not simply a provocation or a blackmail via suicide. It is a genuine wish to end their lives.”

In the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 25% of young adults considered taking their own lives during the lockdowns, while overall suicide rates appear to have spiked as well.

As government officials consider altering or ending COVID restrictions, they must factor in not only COVID death counts, but also the accompanying mental health factors and their ripple effect.


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