This study explored patterns of abuse, self-harm and thoughts of suicide/self-harm in the UK during the first month of the COVID-19 pandemic using data from the COVID-19 Social Study (n=44 775), a non-probability sample weighted to population proportions. The reported frequency of abuse, self-harm and thoughts of suicide/self-harm was higher among women, Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) groups and people experiencing socioeconomic disadvantage, unemployment, disability, chronic physical illnesses, mental disorders and COVID-19 diagnosis. Psychiatric medications were the most common type of support being used, but fewer than half of those affected were accessing formal or informal support.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)543-546
Number of pages4
JournalThe British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


  • Adult
  • Betacoronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology
  • Domestic Violence/prevention & control
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders/epidemiology
  • Mental Health Services
  • Middle Aged
  • Pandemics/prevention & control
  • Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Psychosocial Support Systems
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Self-Injurious Behavior/epidemiology
  • Social Isolation/psychology
  • Suicidal Ideation
  • Suicide/prevention & control
  • United Kingdom/epidemiology


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