Comment on study into suicides and the global financial crisis

An international study has concluded that many suicides are linked to the global financial crisis, with particularly high numbers of people taking their own lives in countries suffering heavy job losses.

The research found there were approximately 5,000 more suicides in Europe and North America in 2009, the first year after the onset of the recession, than would statistically be expected.

In Britain there were 300 extra suicides in 2009, according to a study published last week by Professor David Gunnell, University of Bristol, in the British Medical Journal (BMJ).

Read the full report: Impact of 2008 global economic crisis on suicide: time trend study in 54 countries.


Clare Wyllie, Head of Policy and Research at Samaritans said:

“It is no surprise to us to be told that suicides rise during recessions. A snapshot survey of calls to our branches in 2008, just before the current recession began, showed that 1 in 10 callers talked about financial difficulties. That had risen to 1 in 6 at the end of last year. Clearly this is a factor that governments need to keep in mind when planning for economic downturns.”