Suicide attempts and Covid-19 in prison: Empirical findings from 2016 to
2020 in a Swiss prison
The effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on mental health has been
debated, but empirical data on this topic are still scarce (Kapur et al.,
2021). Population-based studies showed that anxiety has increased and
that social isolation is likely to lead to an exacerbation of depression and
other psychiatric disorders in vulnerable populations, especially those
with pre-existing mental health conditions (Sher, 2020). Analyses of the
incidence of self-harm, which often precedes suicide, are considered as
useful indicators to explore the impact of the pandemic on mental health
(Kapur et al., 2021). A recent meta-analysis suggested high rates of
suicide ideation (10.8%), suicide attempts (4.7%), and self-harm (9.6%)
in the general population during the pandemic (Dub´e et al., 2021).
However, another recent US study reported a decline in the suicide rate
in 2020 compared to previous years (Ahmad et al., 2021).