(CNBC) -- As millions of Americans lose their jobs and economists predict a slow recovery, mental health professionals warn that the prolonged financial and personal stress caused by the Covid-19 pandemic increases the risk of suicide, especially in people already grappling with depression and anxiety.
For weeks, Americans have been confined to their homes as states across the U.S. have implemented some form of stay-at-home orders aimed at containing the coronavirus outbreak by reducing human contact and shuttering schools, offices and other nonessential businesses. While effective at containing the outbreak, “the potential for adverse outcomes on suicide risk is high,” according to an article published in JAMA Psychiatry last month.
The soaring unemployment rate and stock market losses caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, combined with millions of people quarantining at home alone creates the “perfect storm” for an increased risk of suicide for many people, according to the JAMA article, which was led by Dr. Mark Reger, a suicide prevention researcher and chief of psychology services at VA Puget Sound Health Care System.
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