independent

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Suicides nearly double as financially ruined men take their lives in crisis-struck Greece

SUICIDES in Greece have almost doubled since the financial crisis, according to the Greek health ministry and a charitable organisation called Klimaka.

Recorded suicides in Greece have gone up to roughly 6 per 100,000 from half that before the crisis.



GDP in the second quarter has fallen in the country by around 7pc from the same period last year and unemployment is up to 16pc while many Greeks have had their livelihoods destroyed and find themselves unable to meet debt repayments.



Workers at a suicide helpline at Klimaka say that while they used to only get about 10 calls a day they now frequently get upwards of 100.



Those at the suicide helpline also said that the callers are now mostly financially ruined males between the ages of 35 and 60.



"These men have lost their core identities as husbands and providers, and cannot be a man any more according to our cultural standards," said Aris Violatzis, a psychologist from Klimaka speaking to Wall Street Journal.



Last Friday a man in his 50s who was burdened with debt set himself on fire outside of a bank in the northern city of Thessaloniki. He survived after being rushed to hospital.



Suicide rates have also risen across Europe but the Greek rise has been the most significant, according to the British medical journal The Lancet.

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