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A Silent and Violent Epidemic Is Related to the Economic Crisis

By Carol Forsloff     Jun 18, 2009 in Crime
The saddest types of stories are about those who can’t cope economically and commit suicide. The silent epidemic is a growing problem that must be addressed, experts say.
In late 2005 my former secretary died, and her body wasn’t found for more than a day later. I had moved from Hawaii to Louisiana after the company I managed transitioned to new quarters, reorganized and had subcontractors without the need for administrative support full time. So I wasn’t there to help, as I had done before when she had a crisis. The secretary had been terminated by the company after I retired. She was 66 years old at the time and had become disabled, with partial seeing and hearing as well as mobility problems. The company had provided accommodation for her so she did routine meeting and greeting of clients and little paper work. After she lost her job, and her unemployment funds ended, she stopped eating and seeing her doctor, and died alone in her chair in an apartment. Without funds or recourse, she simply stopped living. Her social security retirement of a little over $900/month was too small to live on. Her situation is an example of what is happening now during the recession in many parts of the world.
Some people who can’t meet their financial obligations in these difficult economic times and elect to commit suicide, in one fashion or another. Mother Jones tells of a number of individuals, who, unable to meet financial needs simply kill themselves. These folk are reported to simply be overwhelmed with stress and depression and elect to solve their financial problems by suicide.
Cities that make socialization difficult because of geography or transportation issues and with a pattern of growth that breaks down relationships are seen by some experts to increase the sense of social isolation, loneliness and low social cohesion some people feel. This combined with economic problems can create a situation for suicide. One authority points to Las Vegas as an example of this phenomenon.
Social problems of all kinds increase during recessions. During times of economic stress when people are feeling desperate, people are more likely to kill themselves or others. Authorities have found correlations between economic stresses and downturns and increase not only in suicides but also in heart attacks, domestic violence, child abuse and murder. This isn’t happening in just the United States, as newspapers in Germany and Japan report similar findings. News from Japan declares suicides are skyrocketing.
Those who want to cut funding for social service programs while the recession is hitting hard might consider the statistics on suicide.
More about Epdemic, Economic crisis, Suicide
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