A preprinted study from the United Kingdom reveals that five times more children committed suicide than died from COVID-19.
Researchers from the University of Bristol, University of York, University of Liverpool, and University College London compared morbidity statistics from the UK’s National Child Morbidity Database with Public Health England testing data between March 2020 and February 2021 in a recent report, which is in the peer-review process. Twenty-five “children and young people” — defined as people under eighteen years of age — died of COVID-19 during the period; the morbidity rate for COVID-19 was therefore two per every million.
Meanwhile, 124 children died of suicide during the same period — five times the number of children who had died of COVID-19.
The study comments:
The current UK advice on those defined as “clinically extremely vulnerable” was initially extrapolated from adult risk and it remains very cautious.22 Even taking into consideration the effect of shielding (as both adults and CYP shielded at times during this period) the risk of serious outcomes from SARS-CoV-2 for under 18’s remains extremely low. The risk of removal of CYP from their normal activities across education and social events may prove a greater risk than that of SARS-CoV-2 itself.
These findings are important for guiding policy on vaccination strategies amongst CYP and on guiding families and schools on protection of those at higher clinical risk. Going forward, linkage of the NCMD to other national datasets will enable complete capture of co-morbidities in CYP.
Similar worries about the mental health effects of government-induced lockdowns exist in the United States. As The Daily Wire previously reported, CDC data indicate that the number of emergency room visits for suspected suicide attempts rose by 51% among teenage girls amid COVID-19 and lawmakers’ policy responses.
The CDC details:
During 2020, the proportion of mental health-related emergency department (ED) visits among adolescents aged 12–17 years increased 31% compared with that during 2019.
In May 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, ED visits for suspected suicide attempts began to increase among adolescents aged 12–17 years, especially girls. During February 21–March 20, 2021, suspected suicide attempt ED visits were 50.6% higher among girls aged 12–17 years than during the same period in 2019; among boys aged 12–17 years, suspected suicide attempt ED visits increased 3.7%.
Learning outcomes for students have also been drastically affected by school shutdowns. Fox Baltimore’s “Project Baltimore” — which “examines the unique challenges that confront the Baltimore area’s public school systems” — recently found that nearly half of students in city schools earned grade point averages below a 1.0.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached via 800-273-8255.
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