There are many barometers of mental health that can be correlated with what is happening in the wider world, so it would not be appropriate to conclude that “the lockdown has generally, on balance, been good for the mental health of the population”, but one of those barometers is the levels of reported suicides.
It seems that this – the first assessment of suicides in England and Wales, based on (ONS) official death registrations, that occurred during the early months of the coronavirus pandemic – shows that the figure fell during the early months of the pandemic (particularly among younger males).
“1,603 suicides occurred between April and July 2020 in England and Wales, the most complete period because of the late registration of deaths, equivalent to an age-standardised mortality rate of 9.2 deaths per 100,000 people; this rate is statistically significantly lower than rates for the same period in the previous three years, however, is statistically similar to the rate in 2016.
The lower suicide rate was primarily driven by a decrease for males; the male suicide rate (13.9 deaths per 100,000 males) was statistically significantly lower than rates in the same period between 2017 and 2019, whereas the female rate (4.7 deaths per 100,000 females) showed no statistically significant change with earlier years.
Between April and July 2020, age-specific suicide rates in England and Wales statistically significantly decreased for those aged 10 to 24 years and 25 to 44 years, when compared with the same period in 2019”