The Associated Press is reporting that the number of suicides in Greece increased 45% in the first four years of the financial crisis and is set to grow even higher.
While the country formerly had one of the lowest suicide rates in the country, mental health officials say the financial pains residents are facing have dramatically altered that reality.
From the AP:
The Athens-based group Klimaka said officially reported suicides rose steadily, accounting for an annual jump in deaths from 328 in 2007 to 477 in 2011, according to data from the Greek Statistical Authority.
The group said, based on its own research, the number of suicides has continued to rise through 2012 and 2013. … Klimaka, which runs a suicide prevention hotline, said men took their own lives more than four times as frequently as women, with males most commonly in their mid-50s and females in their late 30s. Some 43 percent of suicide deaths in 2011 involved unemployed people, while 25.7 percent of hotline callers with suicidal thoughts last year said they were experiencing serious financial difficulties.
The majority of the deaths are by hanging, followed by shooting, jumping from heights and poisoning.
“For every suicide death, there are some 30 attempts by others,” an official with Klimaka told the AP. “So we are creating a growing bank of people who are potentially suicidal. That is a long term problem.”