Last Updated on May 23, 2020
A California hospital has reported an unsettling number of suicides and suicide attempts, with a year’s worth being recorded in only four weeks during the state’s extremely extensive coronavirus lockdown.
According to a report from ABC 7, a California hospital has recorded more deaths by suicide than from the coronavirus.
Further, medical professionals have experienced a dramatic rise in attempted suicides with a reported twelvefold spike.
Medical professionals at Walnut Creek’s John Muir Medical Center made the stunning claim and have advised for an easing up of lockdown restrictions to protect those afflicted by mental conditions.
Dr. Mike de Boisblanc, who is head of trauma at the medical center, alarmed by the unprecedented jump in attempted suicides, said: “I think, originally, this (the shelter-in-place order) was put in place to flatten the curve and to make sure hospitals have the resources to take care of COVID patients.
“We have the current resources to do that and our other community health is suffering.”
“We’ve never seen numbers like this, in such a short period of time,” he added. “I mean we’ve seen a year’s worth of suicide attempts in the last four weeks.”
The additional volume of attempted suicides has also stretched the hospital’s capability to save more patients.
A trauma nurse signaled that the number of patients with self-inflicted injuries has never been previously witnessed at the hospital.
Despite clashing sentiments, the medical center issued a statement to ABC 7 in their continuance to support lockdown restrictions:
“John Muir Health has been, and continues to be, supportive of the Shelter-in-Place order put in place by Contra Costa County Health Services to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We realize there are a number of opinions on this topic, including within our medical staff, and John Muir Health encourages our physicians and staff to participate constructively in these discussions. We all share a concern for the health of our community whether that is COVID-19, mental health, intentional violence or other issues. We continue to actively work with our Behavioral Health Center, County Health and community organizations to increase awareness of mental health issues and provide resources to anyone in need. If you are in a crisis and need help immediately, please call 211 or 800-833-2900 or text ‘HOPE’ to 20121 now. We are all in this together, and ask the community to please reach out to anyone who you think might be in need during this challenging time. Thank you.”
California governor Gavin Newsom is gradually easing lockdown restrictions, but the Bay Area appears to be moving at a slower pace, according to National Review.
If you or a loved one are experiencing suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.