A sad fallout from the recession is a rise in suicides and calls to suicide hotlines.
Our area also is suffering. The other day another suicide occurred here that has rattled our community, coming in the aftermath of some other prominent ones last year. (My policy is not to provide details of private suicides, just as any responsible journalist would.)
You can imagine how it could happen: People got in over their head financially and found they couldn’t pay their bills. Some lost their jobs or their homes. They worried about not being able to provide for their family. Money troubles typically are the biggest cause of stress, according to psychologists.
Our area’s suicide rates already have been at all-time highs, as The Union disclosed last year. The reporting generated some concern from the self-interested types around here who always lobby for “happy” news — but the reporting shed a light on an ongoing problem we need to discuss.
We obviously need to keep discussing it.
Suicide is a national problem too. Earlier this month, Newsweek highlighted the issue, pointing to the suicides of some of the world’s most financially powerful people.
“The suicide rate has already gone up, and my suspicion is that it will not go down,” Paula Clayton, director of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, told Newsweek. “There are data to substantiate a relationship between unemployment and suicide.”
The working class eventually pushed the suicide rate up after the Great Depression, Newsweek reported.
We have a much bigger safety net than we did in the ’30s to help counsel people and prevent suicides. Let’s hope we can help them out.
Postscript: On a more upbeat note, our new puppy “Whiskey” fetched The New York Times from the walkway this morning, a milestone.