Predicting self-harm and suicide ideation during the COVID-19 pandemic in Indonesia: a nationwide survey report

Andrian Liem, Benny Prawira, Selvi Magdalena, Monica Jenifer Siandita, Joevarian Hudiyana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: It is estimated that 77.0% of suicide cases occurred in low-and-middle-income countries (LMICs), which would increase because of the COVID-19 pandemic and socioeconomic inequity. However, there is lack of reports on this topic from LMICs, especially during the pandemic. Therefore, this nationwide study aimed to explore self-harm and suicide ideation and its predictive variables during the pandemic in Indonesia as a MIC with the highest COVID-19 fatality rate in Asia. Methods: Non-random sampling online survey was conducted nationwide between 25 May and 16 June 2021. The collected data were demographic variables (i.e. age group), loneliness from social isolation using The UCLA Loneliness Scale Six Items (ULS-6), and self-harm and suicide ideation using item 9 of The Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9). Predictive model was analyzed using hierarchical logistic regression. Results: A total of 5211 participants from all 34 provinces in Indonesia completed the survey. Among 39.3% of them reported self-harm and suicide ideation during the pandemic, which significantly correlated with loneliness. The predictive variables associated with the likelihood of self-harm and suicide ideation were age, residence, job, religion, sex-gender, sexual orientation, HIV status, disability status, and loneliness. The predictive model showed a significant goodness-of-fit to the observed data (x2 [(15)] = 1803.46, p <.001), RN2 =.40. Conclusion: Four out of 10 Indonesians experienced self-harm and suicide ideation during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly people within the age range of 18–24, living in the Java Island, unemployed/student/retired and freelancer, women, members of minority and marginalized communities, and experience of loneliness during the pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
Article number304
JournalBMC Psychiatry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • Health inequity
  • Loneliness
  • Marginalized group
  • Mental health surveillance
  • Minority
  • Suicide ideation


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