Health

New Study Links Rising Suicide Rate to Unstable Economy

| by Courtney Nunes
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A rising suicide rate could be the result of economic disaster, reports BBC News.

A recent study in the British Medical Journal looked at data from 54 countries to assess the global impact of the 2008 collapse of the U.S. economy. Researchers examined both unemployment and suicide rates, and found a surprising connection between the two.

One year after the economic downfall, there was a 37 percent increase in unemployment and a 3 percent fall in gross domestic product (GDP) per capita.

At the same time, male suicide rates began to escalate.

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In 2009, there were nearly 5,000 “extra” suicides above the anticipated amount.

In Europe, suicides increased among men aged 15 to 24, while in America the rise was seen in the 45 to 64 age group, reports BBC News. However, the suicide rate for women did not change in Europe, and only slightly increased in America.

Researchers noted that these suicides were likely the result of emotional stress caused by the recession, but they have no way of proving this connection.

A spokeswoman from the charity Mind said the organization had been receiving more calls to their helpline from people distressed about finances and unemployment.

Another spokeswoman, from a charity called Samaritans, reported that they had also received a number of calls related to money worries.

“A snapshot survey of calls to our branches in 2008, just before the current recession began, showed that one in 10 callers talked about financial difficulties,” the woman stated. “That had risen to one in six at the end of last year. Clearly this is a factor that governments need to keep in mind when planning for economic downturns.”

Source: BBC News