Rising Suicides Linked To Recession !


Sunday January 20, 2013 By Lucy Johnston

Sarah Mitchell says it's hard to cling on to hope  n
]1 Sarah Mitchell says it’s hard to cling on to hope n
A SURGE in suicides and the number of people seeking help for depression has been linked to the recession, rising unemployment and biting austerity measures, a Sunday Express investigation reveals today.

The economic downturn may already have driven more than 1,000 people to take their own lives across Britain. Men aged 25 to 64 have been particularly affected, with an increase of 600,000 reporting mental health problems, shows analysis by the Government’s Medical Research Council.

In general, the number of people seeking psychological therapies rocketed last year from 92,000 in 2009/10 to 320,000. Doses of anti-depressants being prescribed has spiralled by almost a quarter to over four million from just over three million a day before the recession in 2007.

Social scientist Dr Srinivasa Katikireddi, of the Glasgow-based Medical Research Council, said: “There is a wealth of research showing mental health has suffered due to the recession, with people even taking their own lives. I suspect job insecurity plays a part. This is an urgent public health priority.”

One recent analysis, conducted by Dr David Stuckler, a sociologist at Cambridge University, linked a rise in suicides to unemployment and recession.

This study, published in the British Medical Journal, found the number of unemployed men rose on average by 25.6 per cent each year from 2008 to 2010, which was associated with an annual increase in male suicides of 3.6 per cent.

Between 2008 and 2010 there were 846 more suicides among men in England than expected, and 155 more among women. When unemployment peaked in 2009, at almost two million, so did suicides at nearly 4,500.

Dr Stuckler said: “Much of men’s identity and sense of purpose is tied up with a job. It brings income, status, importance.” He called for improved mental health services and programmes to help people back to work.

Dr Jennifer Wild, an expert on depression at the Institute of Psychiatry in King’s College, London, said: “Most unemployed people are depressed within six months of being out of work.

“They get into a vicious cycle of low self-esteem and with less money they can’t afford to do the things that would improve their mental well-being.” Sarah Mitchell, 27, was a high flyer in recruitment until three years ago, when her company was hit by the recession. Ms Mitchell, from Gosport, Hampshire, said: “When you’re so beaten down and depressed, turned away from job after job, it’s hard to see a reason to get out of bed in the morning.”

Beth Murphy, of the Mind mental health charity, said it has received an increasing number of calls since the start of the recession “from people whose mental health has been affected by worries about money, unemployment and cuts to welfare”.

She added: “Redundancy is known to trigger depression and suicidal thoughts.”

Credit: The Daily Express Newspaper

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.