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Jun 12, 2014|
The economic crisis in Europe and North America led to an increase in suicide rates in the Western countries, according to a new report.
The research, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry on Wednesday, revealed that the financial downturn between 2008 and 2010 was responsible for at least 10,000 additional suicides across Europe and North America.
The study was based on data gathered from 24 EU countries the United States and Canada.
Deaths by suicide were falling in Europe and Canada until 2007, but there was a marked increase when the recession took hold in 2008.
The suicide rate, which was already increasing in the US, was also accelerated due to the economic crisis, leading to over 4,700 additional deaths.
"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," said study co-author Professor David Stuckler.Between 2007 and 2009, suicide rates soared in Europe by 6.5 percent. The numbers also rose in the US and Canada by 4.8 and 4.5 percent respectively between 2007 and 2010.
The report cited losing jobs, having a home repossessed and being in debt as the main risk factors.
Sweden, Finland and Austria were identified as countries, which managed to avoid an increase in the suicide rate during the recession time.
Europe plunged into financial crisis in early 2008. The worsening debt crisis has forced the EU governments to adopt harsh austerity measures and tough economic reforms, which have triggered incidents of social unrest and massive protests in many European countries.