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(UK) 25 likely child suicides in first 56 days of lockdown; 5 autistic students in Kent alone

July 13, 2020, The Guardian: Deaths of children with special needs in Kent raise concerns over school closures https://www.theguardian.com/education/2020/jul/13/deaths-special-needs-children-kent-raise-concerns-over-school-closures Exclusive: five children have killed themselves during the Covid outbreak, council official reveals Five children with special educational needs have killed themselves in the space of five months in Kent, a council official has revealed in a warning over the impact of school closures on pupils…. All five of the children had special needs, including autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which may have made it particularly difficult for them to cope without the routine of school, she said. Research published on Monday also pointed to a possible increase in child suicides across England during the coronavirus lockdown. According to the National Child Mortality Database (NCMD), there were 25 likely child suicides in the first 56 days of lockdown…. The deaths in Kent took place between January and May, and involved three boys and two girls aged 13-17. Most had previously had some kind of contact with mental health support services. Three of the deaths occurred during the formal lockdown period, while two were prior to lockdown…. Hammond and other experts are turning their attention to the return to school in September. “We are absolutely desperate for children and young people not to become the forgotten victims of this terrible virus,” she said. Ellen Townsend, a professor of psychology at the University of Nottingham and an expert in self-harm and suicide prevention, warned there could be “a tsunami of mental health issues” on the horizon. …