Coronavirus precautions come with a side effect: loneliness


“Van Hedwall is the director of programs for Felton Institute San Francisco Suicide Prevention. The organization runs multiple crisis lines, available to callers 24/7, 365, and receives about 3,000 calls each month. So far, Hedwall said, the volume of calls hasn’t increased, but those who are dialing in are talking about the coronavirus. He expects to see a rise in calls in the coming weeks, as more people distance themselves from others or self-quarantine to avoid the virus or prevent its spread. He’s working to get the hot-line system into the cloud, so the program’s volunteers and staff can start social distancing as well.


Along with lack of sleep and mental health issues, loneliness is one of the key factors that contributes to suicidal ideation, Hedwall said. ‘We are preparing for the worst. I would predict probably in the next two weeks as the cases of infection rise, we will have an increase in anxiety in our callers and feelings of hopelessness.'” ...Read the full article

San Francisco Chronicle Article featuring Felton Institute San Francisco Suicide Prevention, MAR 16 2020, Screenshot

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