Suicide rates in a country may rise anywhere between 8-15 percent during times of economic downturn, said a study by the BMJ Medical Journal on Wednesday, after nearly 13,000 U.K. citizens took their lives between 2008-2010 alone - 1,000 more suicides than expected.
The study, as cited by AFP, demonstrated that suicide rates in Britain had actually steadily declined for the 20-years prior to the global financial crisis, but then shot up once the effects of the global downturn began to hit.
According to the report's co-author, David Stuckler from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, 846 suicides among men and 155 among women over the three years may not have happened if not for the crisis.
"We estimated the difference between the actual figures and what would have been expected if suicides had continued to fall, which they had been before the crisis occurred," said Stuckler.
Furthermore, when examining the data across different areas within the country, the researchers noted that suicide rates had risen the most in cities experiencing the lowest unemployment rates.
"Unemployment and the unequal economic recovery in England are pressing public health issues," the paper said. "There is a danger that the human cost of continued high levels of unemployment will outweigh the purported benefits of budget cuts."
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In a separate report by Der Spiegel on Wednesday, the German paper also noted that suicide rates in Greece had increased by 33 percent over the last year.
Before the financial crisis began, Greece actually had the lowest suicide rate in Europe at 2.8 per 100,000 inhabitants, according to Eurostat; yet since then, nearly 700 Greeks have taken their lives since the beginning of this year, with 350 attempted suicides and 50 deaths in June alone.
According to Der Speigel, "most of the suicides were among members of the middle class and, in many cases, the act itself was carried out in public, almost as if it were a theatrical performance."
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Additionally, the Daily Mail reported that usage of anti-depressant drugs in the Greek capital of Athen had also increased by 25 percent over the last year, while the rate is up by 18 percent nationwide.
On April 4th this year, 77-year-old pharmacist Dimitris Christoulas pulled a pistol to his temple and shot himself on Syntagma Square in downtown Athens. In his suicide note, Christoulas wrote:
The government has annihilated all traces for my survival, which was based on a very dignified pension that I alone paid into for 35 years with no help from the state. I see no other solution than this dignified end to my life so that I don't find myself fishing through garbage cans for my sustenance."