Changes in Suicide and Resilience-related Google Searches during the Early Stages of the COVID-19 Pandemic
Pandemics such as the 2019 coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak have the potential to negatively impact mental health, 1 which may, in turn, influence suicide rates. 2 Due to the substantial lag before mortality data become available, it will be some time before that can be investigated. More readily available proxy indicators, such as Google search trends, 3 may be of value both for early characterization of the impact of COVID-19 on suicide and in formulating an early public health response. However, this has never been tested in the context of a pandemic. We aimed to characterize changes in suicide-related searches worldwide and in the United States (the country with the most reported COVID-19 cases to date) to identify potential early indications of impact on suicide which can later be compared to mortality data.