On 11 March 2020, the WHO declared the COVID-19 virus a global pandemic. To help reduce the spread of the disease, governments have adopted a variety of community-wide measures, including social distancing and household lockdowns, quarantine of infected and exposed individuals, restrictions on international and domestic travel, closure of schools and ‘non-essential’ workplaces, and cancellation of all large-scale public events. At present there is a lack of robust evidence about the impact of the pandemic and of these governmental responses to the pandemic on suicidal behaviour. However, evidence relating to previous public health emergencies, while limited, gives reason for concern.

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