Suicide Rate Increases as Economy Weakens

By Staff Writer

The suicide rate in the U.S. tends to rise and fall with the fortunes of the overall economy, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Public Health.

Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at annual suicide rates between 1928 and 2007. They then compared these numbers to measures of the overall health of the economy.

The results showed that the number of suicides tended to increase as the economy worsened and decreased as things improved. The correlation was strongest among working-age adults, those between the ages of 25 and 54. Suicides among individuals outside of this age range were less affected by the economy.

The researchers said that their findings underscore the need for increasing mental health and drug rehab services during times of recession. Public health efforts could have a major impact on reducing the prevalence of suicide attempts during these periods.

Given the fact that the present economy continues to slump, the findings are even more pressing. Mental health and drug rehab programs may help individuals who are considering taking their own lives due to the weak economy.