HealthDay News — Being jobless may play a role in about one-fifth of suicides worldwide each year, a new study suggests.
Swiss researchers analyzed data from 63 countries in four regions of the world, and found that unemployment was associated with a 20% to 30% increased risk of suicide.
Between 2000 and 2011, suicides in all the countries totaled about 233,000 a year, and being jobless was linked with about 45,000 (one-fifth) of those suicides.
While the number of unemployment-related suicides increased by about 5,000 during the recent economic crisis in 2008, this analysis shows the risk of suicide among jobless people is high even in good economic times, according to the authors of the study published in The Lancet Psychiatry.
The results suggest that the harmful mental effects of unemployment need to be taken into account in suicide prevention strategies during good and bad economic times, the researchers said.
They also found that both men and women of all ages were equally vulnerable to the effects of job loss.
Nordt C, et al. Modelling suicide and unemployment: a longitudinal analysis covering 63 countries, 2000–11. Lancet Psychiatry. 2015; DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2215-0366(14)00118-7.