COVID-19 pandemic: No significant change in Sweden’s suicide rates in 2020
In a new report, the National Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention at Karolinska Institutet and Region Stockholm examined how suicide rates have changed in Sweden in 2020.
The National Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention (NASP) has previously reported that suicide rates in Sweden could potentially decrease during the pandemic. However, there is a risk of the suicide rates increasing after the pandemic, or alternatively, they could return to normal. Due to this, NASP at Karolinska Institutet and Region Stockholm have carried out statistical analyses to identify possible trends in Sweden's suicide rates, as well as deviations from previously identified suicide trends.
The results from the analyses showed that even though Sweden's suicide rates in 2020 were slightly lower than in previous years, the results were within the statistical margin of error. Furthermore, no significant deviations in suicide rates were observed within a specific gender or age group.
Whether the pandemic will continue to affect suicide rates of Sweden's population is unclear, but previous research on similar situations indicates that the suicide rates may increase after the end of the pandemic. Therefore, NASP believes that strengthened preparedness for a potential increase in suicides is recommended, especially through the implementation of evidence-based suicide prevention efforts.