As many people face mental health struggles during the COVID-19 pandemic, Tallahassee has recently seen a spike in suicides, according to Tallahassee Police Department data.
So far this year, TPD has ruled 21 death investigations as suicides. In 2019, there were six reported suicides.
TR is currently seeking age data related to the suicides.
TPD spokesperson Alicia Turner said the pandemic has contributed to the spike.
“The numbers fluctuate year to year, but they also reflect kind of a national trend, and what we’re seeing nationally is people having a hard time dealing with COVID-19,” Turner said.
The CDC has also released information echoing the sentiment that many people have experienced intensified mental health struggles due to social distancing and stay-at-home orders.
According to a CDC study, in the United States, symptoms of anxiety and depressive disorders increased drastically from April to June 2020 compared with the same time span in 2019. The study also notes an increase in substance use during the pandemic.
These effects could be caused by stress related to contracting the virus, loneliness due to social distancing, financial hardship and other factors.
Turner said TPD expects that suicide numbers will continue to increase during the holidays based on trends from previous years.
She said TPD is encouraging people to check up on one another and ask open-ended questions if a person seems to be struggling more than normal or exhibiting unusual behavior.
“Our biggest push right now is to make sure that people are checking on each other, checking on their family members, checking on their neighbors, checking on loved ones,” Turner said.
“We want people to understand that if you need help, there is help available,” she said.