Skip to content
Subscriber Only
Mental Health

The Next Covid Crisis Could Be a Wave of Suicides

Isolation and anxiety are a recipe for substance abuse and mental illness. A new study predicts 75,000 “deaths of despair.”

View of business man.
Photographer: Grant Faint/The Image Bank RF

The isolation, grief and economic hardship related to Covid-19 are creating a mental health crisis in the U.S. that researchers warn could make the already-rising suicide rate worse.

A study released Friday tried to quantify the toll. The paper, which was not peer-reviewed, found that over the next decade as many as 75,000 additional people could die from  “deaths of despair” as a result of the coronavirus crisis, a term that refers to suicides and substance-abuse-related deaths. The research was done by the Well Being Trust and researchers affiliated with the American Academy of Family Physicians.