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Recessions Make People Want To Kill Themselves

The overall suicide rate climbs and falls depending on the state of the economy.

It's the main conclusion of a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study entitled Impact of Business Cycles on the U.S. Suicide Rates, 1928–2007 that examines the relationships between age-specific suicide rates and business cycles.

The CDC finds an association between suicide rates and economic recessions. The overall suicide rate increased at specific time points including the Great Depression (1929-1933); the end of the New Deal (1937-1938); the Oil Crisis (1973-1975); and the Double-Dip Recession of the early 1980s (1980-1982). The overall suicide rate fell, however, during the post-WWII period (1939-1945) and as hiring in the 1990s improved (1991-2001).

Somehow this finding doesn't seem all that surprising, but it's a good reminder that we need to look out for each other more often in tough times. Take the time to say "hi" to a neighbor, to check in on an old friend or relative who lost his or her job, and to hold the door for the person walking in behind you. It's the small gestures toward others that make the world a nicer place. Click here to read more about the study.

And it goes without saying that if you're feeling depressed, talk to someone close to you or seek out a crisis center in your area. This world needs you, so please stick around, okay?


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