Recession caused almost 500 extra suicides, research claims

Professor Arensman, one of the authors called for maintenance of supports and price increases in alcohol during recession.

There were almost 500 more suicides between 2008 and 2012 than there would have been if Ireland had not gone into recession.

A study by the National Suicide Research Foundation has revealed the rate of suicide among men at the end of 2012 was 57% higher than if the recession had not hit.

The equivalent rate for women was 7 % higher.

The amount of people who self-harmed during that period also increased.

One of the authors of the report, Professor Ella Arensman from the National Suicide Research Foundation, said another study in Cork also points to a strong link between unemployment, debt and suicide.

"During the recession, amongst people who died from suicide, 33% were unemployed, and nearly half of them had their last job in the construction sector ... [which] was very clearly affected by the economic recession," she said.

"In addition to the work-related factors, we also found high levels of alcohol abuse and depression."

She said the removal of medical cards and other supports during a time of economic crisis should not happen, and called for an increase in alcohol prices during recession.

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