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No increase in suicide rate in B.C. during worst of the pandemic, says coroner

Suicide rate didn't increase

The coroners service says suicide rates in British Columbia did not increase last year, despite concerns about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health.

A statement from the BC Coroners Service says there were 534 confirmed deaths by suicide between April 2020 and February 2021.

That's a 12 per cent decrease in suicide deaths from the same period in the year before the pandemic hit.

Data shows a total of 609 deaths by suicide were reported in the last calendar year, a decrease from the 652 deaths recorded in 2019.

The coroner says there were also fewer suicides in four of B.C.'s five health authorities between the start of the pandemic and February of this year than were reported in the April-to-February period one year earlier.

The statement urges care in interpreting the preliminary data and trends for the pandemic period because it says a final classification of suicide is not confirmed until the coroner’s investigation is complete.



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