Tokyo (CNN)Eriko Kobayashi has tried to kill herself four times.
The first time, she was just 22 years old with a full-time job in publishing that didn’t pay enough to cover her rent and grocery bills in Tokyo. “I was really poor,” said Kobayashi, who spent three days unconscious in hospital after the incident.
Now 43, Kobayashi has written books on her mental health struggles and has a steady job at an NGO. But the coronavirus is bringing back the stress she used to feel.
“My salary was cut, and I cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel,” she said. “I constantly feel a sense of crisis that I might fall back into poverty.”
Experts have warned that the pandemic could lead to a mental health crisis. Mass unemployment, social isolation, and anxiety are taking their toll on people globally.
In Japan, government statistics show suicide claimed more lives in October than Covid-19 has over the entire year to date. The monthly number of Japanese suicides rose to 2,153 in October, according to Japan’s National Police Agency. As of Friday, Japan’s total Covid-19 toll was 2,087, the health ministry said.