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Recession 'linked to suicide rates'

Researchers have suggested there is a strong link between the global financial crisis and European suicide rates.

Teams in the UK and the US said that between 2007 and 2009 suicides under the age of 65 were up in nine of the 10 countries involved in the research - varying between 5% and 17%.

The research, published in The Lancet, highlighted the central role of European welfare systems in preventing rates from rising further.

The experts claimed that proactive programmes such as back-to-work schemes were of a greater priority than dishing out benefit payments.

The biggest rise was recorded in Greece, while Finland had the lowest. In Britain the figures showed that suicides per 100,000 people reached 6.75 - a rise of 10%.

Dr David Stuckler, one of the researchers, said: "There was a complete turnaround. Suicides were falling before the recession, then started rising in nearly all European countries studied. Almost certainly these rises are linked to the financial crisis."

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