The harsh economic policies implemented in Greece and other countries in recent years have been shown to have a detrimental effect on mental health and well-being. While this may seem obvious to some, many governments and policymakers don’t seem to have kept it in mind when causing entire populations to suffer under austerity measures.

The Independent:

Austerity measures in Greece resulted in a “significant, sharp, and sustained” increase in suicides, according to 30-year study published in the British Medical Journal this week.

The study, led by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, found that there was a 35 per cent rise in suicide cases in June 2011 – the same time as the government imposed further austerity measures to pay the country’s debts – which was sustained through 2012.

During the study – from 1 January 1983 to 31 December 2012 – researchers tracked the suicide rate and identified the effects of “austerity” and “prosperity” factors on the numbers.

“We found that perhaps it is the economic policies themselves, but also the public messaging of these policies by the government and the press that are both driving the changes in suicide,” [said Charles Branas, lead author of the study].

Read More.

—Posted by Natasha Hakimi Zapata

Wait, before you go…

If you're reading this, you probably already know that non-profit, independent journalism is under threat worldwide. Independent news sites are overshadowed by larger heavily funded mainstream media that inundate us with hype and noise that barely scratch the surface. We believe that our readers deserve to know the full story. Truthdig writers bravely dig beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that tells you what’s really happening and who’s rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.

Like you, we believe a well-informed public that doesn’t have blind faith in the status quo can help change the world. Your contribution of as little as $5 monthly or $35 annually will make you a groundbreaking member and lays the foundation of our work.

Support Truthdig