Great Recession's Toll: 10K Suicides
But greater support reduced deaths, researchers say
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 12, 2014 2:48 AM CDT
People wait in line to enter an unemployment registry office in Madrid, Spain.   (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

(Newser) – The economic despair of the Great Recession led to at least 10,000 extra suicides between 2007 and 2010, according to researchers who say that is a conservative estimate—and many of the deaths could have been prevented. The study of 24 EU countries, the US, and Canada found that the suicide rate rose in most European countries where they had been declining before hardship hit, and accelerated in the US, where it had already been climbing, the BBC reports. In New Zealand, one of the few industrialized countries unscathed by the financial crisis, the suicide rate didn't rise after 2007, the researchers note.

But there were some notable exceptions to the trend, which the researchers say show how suicides could be prevented during the next downturn. The suicide rate stayed flat in Austria, Finland, and Sweden, which were hit hard by the recession but have strong social programs in place to help people who have lost their jobs or are struggling financially. "The social welfare aspects of economic downturns like this can't be ignored," a Columbia University professor of epidemiology tells USA Today. "When our economic belts get a little too tight, we shouldn't be cutting things that help the average Joe." The study also found that the increase in the suicide rate was four times higher among men, a trend the researchers say could be because unemployment is a greater "status threat" for men, and could be changed with "greater gender equity in the workplace," the Los Angeles Times reports.

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Showing 3 of 68 comments
Cindy
Jun 12, 2014 3:53 PM CDT
And the Big Banks are STILL forcing people out of their homes, refusing to refinance, and refusing to TAKE THE MONEY that folks try to pay them. We need more government oversight over the Big Banks, and voting Republican will do just the opposite of that. Republicanism supports Big Business to the detriment of all else. Allowing companies to do what they want, while hoping they will "trickle down" some benefit is ridiculous. History shows that companies will gladly screw us into the ground, then move all their operations to other countries, while hiding their money in offshore accounts to keep from paying taxes back into America.
Lefty_Libby
Jun 12, 2014 1:15 PM CDT
The headline is obviously incorrect. First of all, no doubt the number of deaths caused by Wall Street's greed will never be known; and, secondly, these deaths are murders, not suicides.
Rich Vernadeau
Jun 12, 2014 8:04 AM CDT
THE TOLL EBAY HAS TAKEN ON MANY PEOPLE'S LIVES: "- eBay Customer Service Operators now trained in Suicide & Heart Attack Crisis Calls - A recent recorded phone call to eBay Customer Service revealed that "Customer Service Representatives have been receiving phone calls from desperate eBay sellers who are suicidal or are having a heart attack", Evidently due to eBay's on-going extortion and criminal activity and the stress that is being placed on small to mid-size sellers who are losing their businesses. eBay Representatives are trained to attempt to calm the eBay seller down and "to immediately call 911 while the caller is still on the phone." This is evidently occuring more and more as eBay continues to be engaged in price fixing, collusion, unfair competition, extortion and fraud against small to mid-size sellers. Please spread the news. This is true and can be verified.This call happened by accident... There is a documentary called The Bridge which deals with those who jump from the Golden Gate Bridge. One of the jumpers was an eBay seller. This was brought up to Customer Service in passing and the conversation revealed something much darker. That there are many sellers who have been driven to thoughts of suicide. Suspended eBay sellers have lost their homes. Lost their storages. Lost relationships. Gotten divorced. Their children have suffered. High School Graduates will not go on to college. Collections that took years to be built have been ravaged. Sold for pennies on the dollar. The elderly and handicapped have been extorted, used and stolen from. This is serious business. As serious as suicide..." (FORMER EBAY INSIDER)