Trends in suicidal ideation over the first three months of COVID-19 lockdowns

William D.S. Killgore, Sara A. Cloonan, Emily C. Taylor, Matthew C. Allbright, Natalie S. Dailey

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

56 Scopus citations


To reduce viral spread during the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic, most communities across the U.S. engaged in some form of stay-at-home restrictions or lockdowns that limited social interaction and movement outside the home. To determine the effect of these restrictions on suicidal ideation, a total of 3,120 individuals completed the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) at one of three time points from April through June 2020. The percentage of respondents endorsing suicidal ideation was greater with each passing month for those under lockdown or shelter-in-place restrictions due to the novel coronavirus, but remained relatively stable and unchanged for those who reported no such restrictions. Public health policy and routine clinical care need to address the potential for increased suicidal thinking among those experiencing prolonged restrictions of normal social contact.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number113390
JournalPsychiatry research
StatePublished - Nov 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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