'Thousands more suicides' during financial crisis

The recent recession may have led to thousands of extra suicides, according to experts. Their research shows suicide rates "rose significantly" after the 2007 crash.

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Suicide increase study: Key findings

Key findings from the a study, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry that shows the recent economic crisis led suicides to rise "markedly".

  • Before the recession suicide rates had been falling in Europe
  • Between 2007 and 2009, suicide rates rose in Europe by 6.5%
  • The rates remained at this elevated level through to 2011
  • Suicide rates in Canada and the US rose by 4.5% and 4.8%, respectively, during the same time
  • Most suicides are committed by people with clinical depression
  • There is a marked rise in antidepressant use during the economic downturn
  • In the UK, prescriptions of the drugs rose by 19% between 2007 and 2010
  • Programmes that help people who are out of work appeared to reduce the number of suicides.

Suicide data 'reveals looming mental health crisis'

A rise in suicides in Europe and the US during the recent financial crisis is the "tip of the iceberg" according to one expert.

Oxford University's Professor David Stuckler co-authored a study that found thousands more people - mostly men - committed suicide during the 2008 - 2010 recession.

Suicides are just the tip of the iceberg. These data reveal a looming mental health crisis in Europe and North America.

In these hard economic times, this research suggests it is critical to look for ways of protecting those who are likely to be hardest hit.

– Co-author Professor David Stuckler, from the University of Oxford


Recession 'led to at least 10,000 suicides'

Suicide rates "rose significantly" during the recent recession, experts have found.

Research published in the British Journal of Psychiatry found there were at least 10,000 additional suicides in Europe and North America between 2008 and 2010, as a result of the economic downturn.

The recent recession may have led to thousands of extra suicides, researchers have said. Credit: PA

The increase was four times higher among men, the study suggested.

Researchers from the University of Oxford and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine analysed data from the World Health Organisation about suicides in 24 EU countries, the US and Canada.

They cited job loss, home repossession and debt as the main risk factors leading to suicide during recessions.

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