The Links between Public Health Crises and Suicide


(For resources, this is the publication date. For programs, this is the date posted.)



This literature review looks at suicide risk during periods of isolation (e.g., quarantine) during epidemics, pandemics, or other outbreaks. It also looks at the psychological factors (i.e., risk factors or predictors associated with suicide) that are prevalent during periods of public health crises or large-scale disasters.

Reviewed studies cover severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), H1N1 influenza, Ebola virus disease, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), and the Spanish influenza outbreaks. Outcomes include suicide, suicide attempts, suicidal ideation, and psychological and other outcomes related to suicide risks, such as despair and hopelessness.

This literature review was last updated in May 2020.