The demography and apparent risk factors of COVID-19-related suicides in Bangladesh in a seven-month period of the pandemic

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In addition to physical health, the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly affected the global economy and mental health. The economic and social impacts have initiated many psychological consequences for individuals. In severe cases, these consequences have led to suicidal behavior among individuals as was witnessed in previous epidemics and pandemics. A few previous studies have been published with regard to COVID-19 suicides in Bangladesh. However, all them concerned more unusual cases of suicide rather than a comprehensive overview of suicides in Bangladesh during the pandemic. Therefore, the present study examined all COVID-19 suicide cases from March 1, 2020, to September 30, 2020, as reported in Bangladeshi online media news portals. A total of 37 suicide cases were identified (65% male; 65% married) with hanging being the most common method used (73%). Just under half the suicides were economically-related reasons due to lock-down-related unemployment (45.9%). These results shed light on the topic with a clearer understanding of the apparent causalities influencing individuals to suicide. Furthermore, it may help Bangladeshi policymakers to take necessary action to prevent further suicides.