Europe Faces Suicide due to Financial Crisis (How to Deal with Suicidal People and the Role of Counsellors)

July 08, 2011

A recent study conducted by a team of US and UK researchers found out the suicide rates across Europe increased between 5 to 17 percent. 10 countries in Europe were subjected in the research and suicide cases were found to be prevalent among the working people from year 2007 until 2009. Greece has the highest suicide rate and UK has of 10% to 6.75 suicides in every 100,000 people. Said study was reported in Lancet, the world’s leading science journal and recently published in BBC Health News Website.

Suicide Rates Increase

The research blamed one thing for the suicide increase- financial crisis. According to one of the researchers, Dr David Stuckler, study author and lecturer in Sociology at the University of Cambridge, suicides were falling before the recession then eventually started to rise in nearly all European countries that were studied. Basically, the financial setback has evidently shown direct link with the suicide increase. Nonetheless, the researchers also pointed out that the financial outbreak has lead to health problems- increase in heart diseases and cancer rates which were not seen for the past years.

What really pushes a person to commit suicide? There have been various scientific studies that explain what’s running on one’s mind when committing suicide. Fear of death is not a rare idea. Ordinarily, people are afraid to hurt themselves. But a person thinking of committing suicide is too distressed that she/he sees no hope and no solution for problems but death. Objectiveness is lost. Suicidal people tend to manifest their intent in their actions, hoping they can be rescued. Basically, these people just want to end emotional pain and turmoil; they don’t really want to die.

How you can help?

Most of the time, a person thinking to commit suicide will tell someone about it; either through a joke or light conversation. They talk to someone who they think could help them and will listen to them. If you suspect someone is thinking of committing a suicide, don’t hesitate to ask him/her outright. The issue is extremely sensitive that it may be difficult to confront but it’s the best way to help them. Ask that person sincerely and carefully listen to his/her response. Suicidal people need someone to confide with even though most of the time they’ll deny it and won’t want anyone to help them. Talking to them, giving them more sensible options to face their dilemma are the helpful ways to stop them from committing suicide.

The Important Role of Counsellors in Reducing Incidence Rate of Suicides

Counsellors can greatly help reduce the incidence rate of suicides through education and awareness programs. Since they are the experts on the matter, counsellors may need to inform the public on the warning signs of suicidal people. According to a study entitled “Preventing Suicide, A Resource for Counsellors”, published by the World Health Organization in 2006, ‘educating people about suicide may help make communities aware of the warning signs of suicide, dispel suicide myths, as well as offer hope to those that are potentially suicidal and in need of rethinking their options’. Moreover, counsellors together with health care workers can be helpful in spreading suicide information and common reasons why people think of it- financial difficulties, loss of job, and poor family relationships. Other causes are mental disorders, severe depression, family history, use of drugs and the like.

No matter how bad financial crisis affected the entire country, you can always save a life. With proper knowledge and genuine concern, suicidal people will begin to see a light of hope once again.

Contact Details of Professional Help for the Suicidal

The Samaritans

In the UK, the Samaritans are a well known organisation that offer support for the suicidal. The service is completely confidential.

Telephone: 08457 90 90 90 (UK)

1850 60 90 90 if you are in the Republic of Ireland



UK resources and support for those dealing with suicide, depression or emotional distress particularly teenagers and young adults. They have HOPElineUK which you can call

from 7pm to 10pm, Monday to Friday and 2pm to 5pm at weekends.

Telephone: 087017 04000 or 01978 367333


Maytree is a sanctuary for the suicidal. There is a need for accommodation in a non-medical setting for those in a suicidal crisis and in danger of taking their own lives and which offers time, space and respite. Maytree aims to meet this need. There is a gap in the services available to the suicidal between the medical, largely psychiatric and longer term, and the voluntary sector, offering help lines and hostels. Maytree fills this gap.

Telephone: 020 7263 7070 24/7

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