Lockdowns have led to tripling of Canadian youth suicide attempts: hospital stats
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HAMILTON, Ontario, March 24, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — According to statistics from one of Canada’s largest children’s hospitals, conflicts at home, along with increased isolation, have resulted in youth suicide attempts “tripling” during COVID lockdowns.
“Youth admitted for medical support after a suicide attempt has tripled over a four month period, compared to last year. Patients are staying in hospital longer due to more serious attempts,” reads a March 15 press release from McMaster Children’s Hospital located in Hamilton, Ontario. “A large number of these youth have reported COVID-related issues such as lack of social interaction, increased conflict at home, and the inability to rely on friends as main contributors.”
McMaster Children’s Hospital said that for the four months from October 1, 2020, to January 31, 2021, a total of 26 children needed medical care after being admitted to the hospital for attempting suicide. This contrasts with seven kids admitted to the hospital for suicide attempts during the same four-month time frame in 2019.
According to the hospital, “youth admitted with substance use disorders has doubled,” and “the use of potentially deadly opioids has increased.”
The McMaster press release states that the “mental health challenges during the pandemic” could be the result of many factors. Reasons include increased isolation at home, family conflicts, and tension, a lack of a day-to-day structure, anxiety related to “attending school in-person or virtually,” and “limited access to doctors, teachers, coaches and peers who may notice changes in health.”
“We are all coping with multiple stressors brought on by the current pandemic,” said Dr. Paulo Pires, psychologist and clinical director of Child & Youth Mental Health Outpatient Services. “We must be attentive to the unique impact of these stressors on children and youth depending on their stage of development.”
Additionally, the hospital found there has been a 90 percent increase in kids admitted due to eating disorders, which hospital clinical manager Paul Agar said is “unprecedented.”
“Referrals to our Eating Disorders Program has increased by 90% in a four month period, compared to last year. Admissions are projected to increase by 33% over the 12 months since the pandemic started,” the hospital stated.
“The reasons for the increase are unclear, but the shared hypotheses from hospital professionals and literature cites a combination of factors, such as isolation, risk of over exercising, limited or no school, or limited access to family physicians in the earlier part of the pandemic, as well [as] activities where teachers and coaches would notice changes in health.”
A poll conducted earlier in the year by Leger and commissioned by the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) and the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA), found that depression and drug use skyrocketed due to COVID lockdowns.
In January, a Canadian doctor’s research showed that lockdowns have caused vastly more harm than good.
Dr. Ari Joffe concluded in a paper published titled, “COVID-19: Rethinking the Lockdown Groupthink,” that the collateral damage caused by COVID-19 lockdowns will cause more harm than the virus itself, and will also far outweigh any benefits that might have been incurred by keeping everyone at home.
All of Ontario is currently under some degree of COVID lockdown. The city of Hamilton, where McMaster Children’s Hospital is located, has been in the second most severe “red control” level of lockdown since February 16.
Only a handful of Ontario politicians have come out against COVID lockdowns, including Independent MPPs Randy Hillier and Roman Baber.
Baber was booted from Ontario’s ruling Progressive Conservative Party by Premier Doug Ford for opposing COVID lockdowns. He is now suing the government for restrictions around outdoor prayer and gatherings.
As for Hillier, he has been a fierce outspoken critic of COVID lockdowns and government responses enacted because of them and has repeatedly stated there is “little risk” from COVID unless one is elderly, very sick, or in a long-term care home.