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

Ismael Maatouk, Moubadda Assi, Rusi Jaspal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: This cross-sectional study focuses on the social psychological correlates of self-harm and suicidal ideation during the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) outbreak in Lebanon, which is a country characterized by political and economic instability. Design/methodology/approach: 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 limitations/implications: Beyond the fear of COVID-19, the socioeconomic 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.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Health Research
Publication statusPublished - 29 Apr 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Gender
  • Lebanon
  • Self-harm
  • Suicidal ideation


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