The Ontario Ministry of Health is recording suicides of COVID-19 positive patients as virus-related fatalities.
“As a result of how data is recorded by health units into public health information databases, the ministry is not able to accurately separate how many people died directly because of COVID-19 versus those who died with a COVID infection,” said Anna Miller, the Ontario Ministry of Health Senior Communications Advisor told True North.
If someone commits suicide while they are infected with the virus, the province will count it as part of the COVID-19 death toll.
Miller explained the reasoning behind this as a need for “inclusivity,” adding it is meant “to ensure that all deaths linked to the disease are captured.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has been largely blamed for having a negative effect on people’s mental health. In fact, reports suggest there has been an increase in alcohol and opioid-related deaths, as well as closures of numerous small businesses and unemployment.
Researchers have also predicted an increase in suicides across Canada as a result of COVID-19 restrictions, which includes lockdowns, citing an increase in economic instability, social isolation and job losses.
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