Suicides on the rise amid stay-at-home order, Bay Area medical professionals say

From ABC7NEWS.COM

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (KGO) -- Doctors at John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek say they have seen more deaths by suicide during this quarantine period than deaths from the COVID-19 virus.

WATCH: 'Your Mental Health: A Bay Area Conversation,' virtual town hall addressing COVID-19 impact on mental health The head of the trauma in the department believes mental health is suffering so much, it is time to end the shelter-in-place order.

"Personally I think it's time," said Dr. Mike deBoisblanc. "I think, originally, this (the shelter-in-place order) was put in place to flatten the curve and to make sure hospitals have the resources to take care of COVID patients. We have the current resources to do that and our other community health is suffering."

The numbers are unprecedented, he said.

"We've never seen numbers like this, in such a short period of time," he said. "I mean we've seen a year's worth of suicide attempts in the last four weeks."

Kacey Hansen has worked as a trauma nurse at John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek for almost 33 years. She is worried because not only are they seeing more suicide attempts, she says they are not able to save as many patients as usual.

"What I have seen recently, I have never seen before," Hansen said. "I have never seen so much intentional injury."

The trauma team is speaking out because they want the community to be aware, for people to reach out and support each other and for those who are suffering to know they can get help.

John Muir Health provided a statement to ABC7 late Thursday, saying the organization as a whole is supportive of the shelter-in-place order in the Bay Area.

"John Muir Health has been, and continues to be, supportive of the Shelter-in-Place order put in place by Contra Costa County Health Services to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We realize there are a number of opinions on this topic, including within our medical staff, and John Muir Health encourages our physicians and staff to participate constructively in these discussions. We all share a concern for the health of our community whether that is COVID-19, mental health, intentional violence or other issues. We continue to actively work with our Behavioral Health Center, County Health and community organizations to increase awareness of mental health issues and provide resources to anyone in need. If you are in a crisis and need help immediately, please call 211 or 800-833-2900 or text 'HOPE' to 20121 now. We are all in this together, and ask the community to please reach out to anyone who you think might be in need during this challenging time. Thank you."... (Read more)

Submitted 13 days ago


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