Suicide numbers rise in Italy amid coronavirus uncertainty

THE number of suicides in Italy during the last few weeks has seen a marked rise as the Covid-19 emergency brings fear and uncertainty of the future. 

In the early hours of April 7, two sisters were discovered drowned in the Venetian lagoon having committed suicide. They are thought to have fallen from an ACTV waterbus. The victims were identified as two sisters from Morocco who were living in Marghera, just across on the mainland from Venice. 

Their suicides are part of a worrying trend in the country. In the city of Pisa, in Tuscany, four people took their own lives in a period of 10 days at the beginning of April. 

Psychotherapist Sonia Cortopassi commented on the situation saying, “The suicides are the tip of the iceberg.” She noted that some of the deaths were of those affected by pre-existing psychological conditions that, “with the coronavirus emergency, can become unbearable.” 

The coronavirus crisis is combining economic instability with the strain of having to remain at home. People are finding themselves out of work and struggling to survive on savings. 

Those working in the health care sector are also under extreme pressure from their jobs. In late March, a 34-year-old nurse in Lombardy committed suicide after testing positive for Covid-19 and reportedly being under “heavy stress” from the fear of infecting others. 

There are now reports that the government may initiate psychological testing to determine how long citizens will be able to remain under lockdown conditions.

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Written by

Rebecca Ann Hughes

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