2020 May-June

Here we are with the selection of articles published in the months of May and June 2020, about suicide, self harm and suicidal related topics from the major scientific journals.

Three articles are presented with a small comment by Raffaella Calati and Veronica Sprio.

Objective measurement of sleep, heart rate, heart rate variability, and physical activity in suicidality: A systematic review.
Gu Eon Kanga, Michelle A. Patriquin, Hung Nguyena, Hyuntaek Oh, Katrina A. Rufino , Eric A. Storch, Bella Schanzer , Sanjay J. Mathew , Ramiro Salas, Bijan Najafi
Journal of Affective Disorders. May 2020; 273 (2020) 318–327. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2020.03.096

This systematic review examined the association between objective measurements of the arousal and regulatory systems as measured by sleep-wakefulness, heart rate (HR) and heart rate variability (HRV) with suicide and suicidal behavior. Results showed that consistent patterns of disturbed sleep-wakefulness such as greater sleep onset latency and lower sleep efficiency were related to suicide. In addition, higher HR and lower variance of R-R intervals were indicators of risk of suicide.

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Online harms or benefits? An ethnographic analysis of the positives and negatives of peer-support around self-harm on social media.
Anna Lavis  and Rachel Winter
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. May 2020. doi: 10.1111/jcpp.13245

This ethnographic analysis evaluated the impact of social media (e.g. Twitter, Reddit, Instagram) on self-harm in young people through mechanisms of contagion. Results showed that peer support is the central component of online interactions around self-harm. In fact, people accessing such content are likely to already be self-harming and they may turn to social media to understand, and seek help for, their actions and feelings in a context of offline stigma and service support gaps.

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How Bad Is It? Suicidality in the Middle of the COVID‐19 Pandemic
Kevin M. Fitzpatrick, Casey Harris, Grant Drawve
The Official Journal of the American Association of Suicidology. June 2020. doi: 10.1111/sltb.12655

The objective of this paper was to examine the intersection between social vulnerability, individual risk, and social/psychological resources with adult suicidality during the COVID‐19 pandemic. Results showed that 15 percent of sampled respondents were categorized as high risk. Variation were bound to social vulnerability groupings: Blacks, Native Americans, Hispanics, families with children, unmarried, and younger respondents reported higher SBQ‐R scores than their counterparts. These results showed the impact of COVID‐19 on the U.S. population.

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