Greece: Suicide rates and psychological problems rising

December 5, 2011

The savage austerity in Greece has affected people’s lives in many different ways. The hardship faced by Greek people has been directly reflected in their psychological condition.

It is indicative that there has been a big increase in suicides in Greece. In September, the Greek health ministry said suicides in the first five months of 2011 may have risen by 40% compared to the same period of 2010.

The suicide incidences doubled in 2010 compared with 2009. The national suicide helpline reports four times more incoming phone calls in 2010 than previous years.

The upward trend had started before 2010. Alain Salles reported in French paper Le Monde on June 24 that in 2009, there was an 18% increase in the number of suicides compared with 2007.

The same article quotes psychiatrists as saying that “the economic crisis has triggered a 25 to 30% increase in the number of patients seeking their help”.

Scientific journal The Lancet said during the period 2007-2009, there was a 17% increase in suicides among Greek people. The study was based on facts provided by the International Health Organisation and Eurostat.

The country now has the highest rate of increase among European countries.

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