Financial crisis triggered increase in Europe suicides

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Suicide rates have increased by up to as much as 17 percent across Europe, a study has found. A trend in which suicides were continually falling year-o...

Suicide rates have increased by up to as much as 17 percent across Europe, a study has found.

A trend in which suicides were continually falling year-on-year across Europe has been reversed and researchers from the US and the UK believe the 2008 credit crunch is to blame.

They found incidences of suicide increased during 2007 to 2009, by between five and 17 percent in people who are of a working age and under 65.

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Data from the World Health Organisation (WHO) was analysed as part of the study and looked at suicide rates in 10 European countries.

Greece saw the highest jump in suicides with a 17 percent increase and was followed by Ireland which had rise of 13 percent.

The economies of both Greece and Ireland were two of the worst-affected in Europe after the financial crisis and experts believe this explains the surge in suicides in these locations.

Austria was the only country where suicide rates continued to fall, with a five percent decrease in self-inflicted harm between 2007 and 2009.

The researchers said the results demonstrated a common pattern. They said: “This is consistent with historical studies that show immediate rises in suicides associated with 'early indicators' of crisis, such as turmoil in the banking sector, which precipitates later unemployment.”

During the years studied, unemployment rates across Europe increased by a third, rising by approximately 35 percent. 

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