TRIGGER WARNING: This article about Abbie Chatfield and Tones and I discusses suicide. If you are concerned about the mental health of yourself or a loved one, seek support and information by calling Lifeline on 13 11 14.

The Bachelor star Abbie Chatfield has condemned Tones and I over her “incorrect” claims about lockdown suicide rates.

Earlier this week, Tones and I took to Instagram to share a post criticizing the lack of “enough conversation” surrounding mental health and suicide rates amid the COVID lockdown. The lengthy post saw Tones claim that “more people have died from suicide than COVID over the last 2 years.”

“Australia is fucked right now,” Tones wrote. “I’m not even gonna speak on the arts industry because that’s fucked.” Tones went on to highlight what she believes be a lack of“enough conversation” around mental health and suicide rates amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“Now the government is putting the majority of the country into a position of huge pain and suffering. Everyone is loosing (sic) everything, small business’s have gone under, people are locked away from friends and family, walking on the beach is becoming voodoo,” she wrote.

“It’s so hard to watch so many people suffering, it’s getting to a point where nobody can see a way out. I try and share love always. But I just don’t know what to do to help my fans or friends or just fellow Aussies feel OK,” she continued, adding: “It’s really up to Aussies to help out Aussies!”

The post was accompanied with an announcement that Tones would be helping out 10 small businesses by sending through $5,000 whilst times are uncertain.

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Following Tones and I’s post, Abbie Chatfield took to Instagram stories to question Tones’ statistics. “It’s just incorrect, the reason we haven’t had as many Covid deaths is because of lockdowns. Disappointing,” shared Chatfield. “I just wish people would stop saying suicide rates are higher than Covid deaths because it simply isn’t true.”

She continued, “You’re telling me more than 4.29 million… have died of suicide in the last 18 months?. It’s just incorrect, isn’t it.”

The argument feels incoherent and you can’t line up the numbers. I feel like I’m going insane trying to compare Chatfield’s global statistics to Tones’ Australian statistics. It feels like there isn’t enough solid data to confidently link the lockdown with suicide rates. I don’t think Tones’ was implying anti-lockdown rhetoric either — I just think that we are all feeling confused and sad and desperate.

A study conducted in 2019, pre-pandemic, found that suicide claimed the lives of 3318 that year. Thus far, in Australia, 941 people have lost their lives to COVID.

No subsequent studies into suicide rates in the COVID era have been conclusively analyzed. However in June this year, the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) stated that early indications suggest the suicide rate in Australia has not risen” since the beginning of the pandemic.

On a global scale, an estimated 800,000 people die of suicide each year. In 2020, 1.88 million people lost their lives to COVID worldwide.

There are several immediately contactable hotlines that you can call if you or anyone you know needs help:

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