Nevada’s suicide crisis: What has the recession meant for suicides?
Historically, the national suicide rate does not rise and fall with the economy, according to the American Association of Suicidology.
While the national rate did increase during the Great Depression, peaking at 17.4 suicides per 100,000 people, other subsequent recessions throughout the 20th and early 21st centuries did not produce similar increases.
However, because the latest national published suicide data is five years old, it’s currently not possible to determine if the so-called “Great Recession” that started in December 2007 had any effect on the national rate.
What can be determined is that stressful life events do affect people who may be at risk for suicide, especially if they suffer from mental illness or substance abuse.
“Of current concern is the high rate of home foreclosures,” the AAS wrote in a statement. “More than a million people recently have lost their homes, about as many as did in the Great Depression when the population was about half what it is today.”
Combined with job loss and other financial strains, loss of a home has been found to be a common pattern among people who die by suicide.