Police in Wichita, Kansas, claimed suicides have increased by roughly 70% this year largely due to stress from the coronavirus pandemic.
Police spokesman Officer Paul Cruz confirmed there have been 76 suicides reported in the city this year, the Associated Press (AP) reported Monday. At this time last year there had been 44 suicides reported and only 59 suicides reported for the entirety of 2019, according to the outlet.
“A Kaiser Family Foundation poll shows nearly half of adults in the U.S. report the coronavirus crisis is harming their mental health. While social distancing is designed to protect our physical health, it can put a strain on us emotionally.” https://t.co/BtUhiMpvpC
— Community Foundation (@CommFound) May 19, 2020
Cruz also confirmed there has been 367 suicide attempts in total so far this year, the AP reported. (RELATED: 25% Of Young People Claim They Contemplated Suicide During Coronavirus Pandemic: CDC)
Detective James Hook, who works as the department’s mental health liaison, pointed at stress from the coronavirus pandemic as playing a large role in suicides. He specifically mentioned quarantines, social activities being canceled and job losses, the outlet reported.
Hook also pointed out that the pandemic has caused suicide prevention organizations to have to cease in-person operations and resort to online support groups. Hook did say the virtual groups “were better than nothing.”
Roughly half of Americans reported that the coronavirus pandemic was affecting their mental health, according to data from a Kaiser Family Foundation poll released in April. 45% of adults polled between March 25-30 claimed the pandemic had affected their mental health while 19% said it had a “major impact.”