Will the Recession Drive Up Suicides?

We're better prepared now, but rates are still tied to cultural trends
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 9, 2009 1:31 PM CST
Experts are on the lookout for whether the recession will cause a spike in suicide rates.   (Shutterstock)
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(Newser) – America is reeling from the financial crisis, and the psychological strain has analysts carefully watching national suicide rates, Time reports. Though three high-profile European businessmen took their own lives recently, suicide rates have held steady at 11 per 100,000 people; during the Great Depression, they spiked at 17 per 100,000. But there is still reason for concern, say some.

Experts note that the crisis’ basis in housing could increase the suicide risk: "When combined with the loss of job, home loss has been found to be one of the most common economic strains associated with suicides,” the American Association of Suicidology said. Still, the introduction of welfare and social security make it unlikely that Depression lows, in which 34 million Americans had no income at all, will be repeated.