Kuwait City: In the first five months of 2021, Kuwait has reported 75 suicides, a huge jump compared to the total 90 cases in 2020.
While data revealing the age, gender and nationality of the people who passed away was not disclosed, a bulk of the cases that were recorded were pertaining to non-Kuwaitis, majority from South Asian background.
In the past week alone, three suicide cases were reported, two of which were Indian men and one was a Bangladeshi man.
Economic and psychological toll
The psychological and economic effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and the hardships that came with it over the past year have taken on people’s mental health. Many people have been witnessing increased levels of stress, feelings of hopelessness as the pandemic drags on or are struggling with mental illness like depression and anxiety.
The pandemic created physical barriers between people as many had to continue to socially distance, while others have gone without seeing their families for a long period due to travel restrictions and bans.
According to a study by Leo Sher in the International Journal of Medicine, suicide rates went up during the 2003 SARS epidemic in Hong Kong due to social disengagement.
Majority of the suicide cases that have been reported are amongst blue collar workers in Kuwait. Due to the economic repercussions of the pandemic, many found themselves with reduced wages or went months without a salary, with many even losing their jobs.
Sher pointed to the increase in suicide cases in relation to unemployment, as there was a spike in suicide cases during the 1930s Great Depression, as well us in most recession years.