Jobless Flood Suicide Hotlines

Calls spike 18% from January to May
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 7, 2010 2:13 PM CDT
Calls to suicide hot lines have spiked during the recession.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Calls to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline have spiked precipitously this year, likely indicating a surge in actual suicides. The official suicide rate always lags by several years, but the Lifeline says calls jumped 18% from January to May, reaching an all-time high of 59,500. It’s possible that’s simply because of increasing awareness of the Lifeline, the organization’s director tells Aol News. But it’s also possible that persistent joblessness is pushing more people to the edge.

Several studies have proved that suicide rates rise in times of high unemployment—they reached a peak of 17 per 100,000 people in 1933. “There has been an increase in the number of callers who mention economic worries,” says one psychologist. “With the economy, people do feel hopeless and helpless; it isn’t something that they can control.”

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