Peru News Post

Suicidal Behaviour & Pandemics by SARS COVID-19 in Peru

According to the OMS, in 2019, more than 800 million of persons died by suicide, it means one suicide every 40 seconds around the world (1). In Peru, a South American country with almost 34 million of people, in 2015 a rate of 5.8 suicides per 100 thousand inhabitants was reported, and recently 1200 suicides per year, as well as 25 thousand suicide attempts/year (2).

The year 2020 was different in respect to the last 50 years because of the SARS COVID 19 pandemic, announced in this country in March. Bibliography sources describe rising suicidal rates in wars, disasters, pandemic periods, etc. Mortality by SARS COVID 2 ranked very high in Peru, with more than 150 thousand deaths during 2020 (3). The Health Ministry carried out Mental Health Programs for respective assessment, treatment and prevention in this area (4). There are some trials studying incidence of suicidal behaviour, reported by a Mental Health Institution (5) during the first semester of pandemic due to SARS COVID 19 in descriptive and prospective way. Preliminary results of this study show: In 520 patients, 127 (24.4 %) of them presented behavioral suicide, being M: 29 (22.8 %) F : 98 (77.2 %);  35 of them (27.6 %) was diagnosed with  SARS COVID 19 and suicide attempt, being  M: 2(5.7 %) y F: 33 (94.3 %), with predominant ages  34 to 41 years old: 23 %, 42 to 49 y.o : 23.6 %,  50 to 58 y.o: 24.5 %. Prevalent clinical diagnosis: Depressive Disorders: 65.7 %. The most prevalent method for suicide attempt: drug overdose: 60 %. It was reported one completed suicide (0.79 %), in a male of 18 y.o. Additionally, a number of suicides in the country for this period was 12, 3 females: 25 %, 9 males: 75 %, predominantly aged: 26 to 33 years old: 33.3 %; 50 to 56 y.o: 33.3 %, with comorbid diagnosis Depressive Disorders and  SARS COVI 19 in 83.3 %, being suicide prevalent methods : jumping: 75 %, gunshot: 16.6 % and pesticides: 8.3 %.

Conclusion appointed a variation of longtime described profile for suicide attempters with respect to age, adults more than youth, as well as 2 high amounts for young people and adults in complete suicide. Also a change in order of suicide methods, perhaps due to association of clinical diagnoses SARS COVID 19 and Depressive Disorders. There is actually a social net and telephone system for following and assistance to survivors of pandemic consequences, with IASP National Representative Activity, especially in mental health area and Suicide Prevention.

Author: Vásquez F.,
              Psychiatrist
              Peruvian National Representative for IASP

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 1.-OMS Suicide, 20192.- Suicide Prevention Program, NIMH , Working Notebook, Lima. Peru 2014-2021.3.- SINADEF: Sistema Nacional de Defunciones en Perù, Gobierno Peruano, 2020 Defunciones por Suicidio. 4.- MINSA, Peruvian Health Ministry Archives, Lima, 2015-2020 5.- Vàsquez F., Suicides and COVID 19, Lima, Peru NIMH, 2020.