Google searches indicate increase in suicide during pandemic – Times of India

Google searches indicate increase in suicide during pandemic – Times of India


Researchers used an algorithm and analysed Google trends data for March and April to identify proportional cha…Read More

With the threat of coronavirus pandemic still looming large in several parts of the world, a study suggests that it is taking a toll on people’s mental health. Researchers at Columbia University Irving Medical Center have found that financial distress is is strongly linked to suicide mortality. The researchers have linked Google search behaviour with suicidal behaviour.
They used an algorithm and analysed Google trends data for March and April to identify proportional changes over time in searches for 18 terms related to suicide and known suicide risk factors.
“We didn’t have a clear hypothesis about whether there would be an increase in suicide-related queries during this period of time, but we anticipated a national sense of community during the pandemic that might mitigate suicidal behaviour in the short term,” says Emily Halford, MPH, data analyst and the study’s first author.
The researchers looked at online searches about suicide and suicide risk factors and its potential impact on suicide. Studies done in the
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