The suicides this year of a Freddie Mac boss overwhelmed by investigations into his company and a banker whose firm lost $1.5 billion in the Madoff scandal offer two high-profile examples of a trend confirmed by recent data: the US suicide rate is rising in the wake of the recession, with financial woes an increasing factor in many deaths, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Data from 19 states shows the suicide rate rose by about 2.3% in 2008, and calls to suicide prevention hotlines are also increasing. Some crisis centers report money troubles now surpassing depression as a reason for calls to their hotlines. "There's a lot more anxiety and fear related to paying bills and finding a job," said a director of the National Suicide Prevention Hotline. "Certainly there's some hopelessness about the future."