Saturday 9 May 2020

Report: Rise in Suicide from Gov't Shutdowns Could Cause More Deaths Than COVID in Australia

Australia might see more deaths from an increase in suicides relating to the coronavirus pandemic than from the actual virus, according to a report from a university in the country.
SBS News reported that mental health researchers at Sydney University’s Brain and Mind Centre are predicting a 25 percent to 50 percent uptick in suicides during the country’s lockdown, and potentially beyond.
Models from the university are predicting that an extra 750 to 1,500 suicides a year could end up being attributed to the financial and mental health toll created by the virus, and by shuttering society to respond to it.

Up to 30 percent of those new suicide deaths could tragically occur among young people who are now overburdened by the pandemic and the fear and uncertainty surrounding it.
To make matters worse, the prediction of an increased suicide rate could play out over a prolonged five-year period.
Ian Hickie, the head of the university’s Brain and Mind Centre, told SBS News the arrival of the coronavirus in his country created a “perfect storm” for suicides.
“It is shocking in terms of numbers, but it is entirely consistent with past experience,” Hickie said.
The university’s model — which used data from the 2009 global financial crisis, the Asian financial crisis of 1997 and the Great Depression — predicted that the mental health effects of people leaving school, rising unemployment and family issues will hurt the economy by reducing productivity, according to Breitbart.
Currently, there are about 3,000 suicides annually in Australia.

The 25 percent predicted increase is based on an unemployment rate of 10 percent, but if the jobless rate reaches 15 percent, the university expects the suicide rate to increase by up to 50 percent.
Australia has currently reported 97 deaths from the coronavirus since the first cases were reported in Jan. 26, according to numbers from the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. The country had confirmed 6,914 cases as of Friday.
The deaths average out to fewer than one per day since the first cases were reported.
Meanwhile, an added 1,500 suicides annually would equate to roughly four additional deaths per day attributed to suicide.
Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt told SBS News his government is taking the predictions seriously and will do more to address the issue.
The university prediction of increased suicides was limited to Australia, but suicides are certainly not an issue isolated to the land down under.
According to Worldometers, which tracks global statistics in real time, more than 377,000 people worldwide have committed suicide so far in 2020, while more than 270,000 have died from the coronavirus globally.
The global suicide rate thus already outpaces lives lost due to the coronavirus.
President Donald Trump drew flak from the media when he suggested in March that the government’s response to the virus cannot be too heavy-handed, tweeting: “WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF.”
Trump also cited his fear about an increased suicide rate coinciding with mass public lockdowns.
“You’re going to lose more people by putting a country into a massive recession or depression.” Trump said during a Fox News town hall on March 24. “You’re going to lose people. You’re going to have suicides by the thousands.”
Other experts are warning that more people could soon be dying from other causes as well at a time when the majority of resources being directed to the pandemic.
The Telegraph reported this week that a reduced focus on tuberculosis by health care providers during the COVID-19 pandemic could lead to an additional 1.4 million deaths from tuberculosis and 6.3 million additional cases over the next five years, as routine doctor visits and health screenings are not happening.
That’s without mentioning cancer screenings and other essential health services that have been put on hold.
The United Nations last month also warned of famines of “biblical proportion” due to the coronavirus pandemic.
U.N. executive David Beasley described the current global situation as “the worst humanitarian crisis since World War Two,” and added there are 130 million more people around the world who are now on the edge of starvation because of the pandemic.
These dire warnings come as the efficacy of mass lockdowns is already being questioned.
According to the data from a newly released medical survey, roughly 66 percent of hospitalized coronavirus patients within New York state — easily the hardest hit by the pandemic — were admitted from the safety of their own homes.
“But 66 percent of the people were at home, which is shocking to us,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.
The information calls into question if the government’s cure for the disease will indeed be worse than the disease itself, or if we might already be there.

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