The Great Recession resulted in 5,000 additional suicides worldwide in 2009, according to a recent study — the first to look at suicide trends globally in the wake of the crisis.
The study found a “clear rise” in the number of suicides globally in 2009, one year after the global financial crisis first hit — the number was higher than expected based on data from 2000 to 2007.
Researchers from the University of Hong Kong, University of Oxford, University of Bristol and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, analyzed World Health Organization data and information from the Center for Disease Control in 54 countries and found that the additional 4,884 suicides occurred largely in Europe and the Americas where the crisis was most severe.
Though researchers can’t say for sure that the rise in suicides is a direct result of the financial crisis — they found a correlation, not a causation — the findings mirror other research indicating that economic downturns tend to lead to an increase in the suicide rate.
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