While many of us emerged alive and kicking after the recent economic downturn, masses of Americans and Europeans just couldn’t handle it! According to The Huffington Post, over 10,000 suicides between 2008 and 2010 have been linked to the Great Recession.
The top three reasons for Great Recession-linked suicides, as you might have guessed, are getting laid off, home foreclosures and overwhelming debt, according to a study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry.
Before America’s economic slump in 2007, the U.S. suicide rate was already going uphill — but the Great Recession increased that rate by 4.8 percent. Nearly 5,000 Americans called it quits due to the economic downturn. In Europe, suicide rates were actually declining, but the Great Recession impaired that progress and caused 7,950 suicides — a 6.5 percent jump.
What was interesting, though, is that Aaron Reeves, the lead researcher from University of Oxford, points out that Sweden, Finland, and Austria seemed virtually unaffected by the Great Recession — the suicide rate did not increase. “It shows policy potentially matters. One of the features of these countries is they invest in schemes that help people return to work, such as training, advice, and even subsidized wages,” Reeves told BBC, via Fox News.
This study isn’t the first time that economic hardship has been found to spur higher suicide numbers. According to HuffPo, previous studies have concluded that stock market plunges and states with higher home foreclosures are both factors linked to greater suicide rates.
This investigation, conducted by researchers from the University of Oxford and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, looked at World Health Organization data from 24 countries in Europe and North America.