Self-harm and suicidal ideation during the COVID-19 outbreak in Lebanon: a preliminary study

Maatouk, I. ORCID: 0000-0003-1008-7413, Assi, M. ORCID: 0000-0003-0529-2981 and Jaspal, R. ORCID: 0000-0002-8463-9519, 2021. Self-harm and suicidal ideation during the COVID-19 outbreak in Lebanon: a preliminary study. Journal of Health Research. ISSN 0857-4421

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Purpose: This cross-sectional study focuses on the social psychological correlates of self-harm and suicidal ideation during the COVID-19 outbreak in Lebanon, which is a country characterized by political and economic instability.

Design: A convenience sample of 191 Lebanese individuals completed measures of length of being in lockdown, fear of COVID-19, job insecurity, political trust, self-harm and suicidal ideation. Data were analyzed using independent samples t-tests and multiple regression.

Findings: Fear of COVID-19 was associated with neither self-harm nor suicidal ideation. Males and people with lower income reported higher suicidal ideation than females and those with higher income, respectively, and religiosity was inversely associated with suicidal ideation. People who reported self-harm generally exhibited lower political trust than those who did not report self-harm.

Research implications: Beyond fear of COVID-19, the socio-economic sequelae of COVID-19 (especially the economic fallout and declining political trust), which are accentuated in already economically and politically unstable societies, may precipitate poor mental health and maladaptive coping strategies in Lebanon. There is a need to ensure adequate access to mental health services to the general population amid the COVID-19 outbreak in Lebanon.

Originality/value: This study provides novel insight into the risk factors for self-harm and suicidal ideation in Lebanon during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Journal of Health Research
Creators: Maatouk, I., Assi, M. and Jaspal, R.
Publisher: Emerald
Date: 29 April 2021
ISSN: 0857-4421
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 25 Mar 2021 11:21
Last Modified: 31 May 2021 15:02

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