German researchers have confirmed that the lack of in-person contact during a Covid lockdown and school closures took a sad toll on children’s mental health, with the number of suicide attempts increasing sharply.
Up to 500 minors were hospitalized after suicide attempts in Germany between early March and late May 2021, DUP Magazin reported this week, citing a yet-unpublished study from the Essen University Hospital (UK Essen).
Researchers analyzed the data from 27 children’s intensive care units across the country. They found that reported child suicide attempts increased fourfold compared to pre-pandemic times.
Christian Dohna-Schwake, the head of the children’s unit at UK Essen, said that continued restrictions and school closures have been especially harmful to minors already suffering from depression or anxiety disorders. “Social contacts outside of social media have a preventive effect” against mental problems, Dohna-Schwake said, urging that schools be kept open “as long as possible.”