Mental illness is a serious issue that is increasing all over the world. In Greece, reports show that the debt crisis is taking its toll on young people.
Astonishingly, according to the Athens News health professionals in Greece suspect that once the financial and economic problems are over, mental illness could remain in the younger generation. This could occur due to younger people living in hopelessness for too many years.
David Stuckler, a sociologist at Britain's Cambridge University, stated that, "Austerity can turn a crisis into an epidemic." Stuckler has been studying the way health is affected as the Euro crisis in Europe marches on. These are worrying times for everyone involved and it is taking its toll on people all over the world. It is not known what the full effects will be once the Euro crisis is over. For now, experts can only estimate what may happen.
Mental illness that is left untreated can spiral out of control and develop into a bigger problem. Serious mental illness could occur, making it much more difficult to treat at a later date.
Unemployment amongst young people in Greece is over 50% and people are becoming more depressed. People feel as though they have no hope of ever finding employment, which is a dismal reality.
The streets of Greece are littered with drunk and disorderly youths. Drug abuse is a common occurrence in the young, which fuels crime. On Wednesday, a Greek pensioner hung himself in Athens with a written note to explain how he had always been a working man, but now, found himself in insurmountable debt.
This is the fifth year that the government finds itself in a recession and the prospects are becoming bleaker for individuals.
Employed individuals are hit by wage cuts and pay freezes. Most people are living with the constant fear of being made redundant. Research has discovered that these fears can have a profound effect on a person's psychological well being.
It is feared that the result of all this turmoil and uncertainty will play a major role on mental health. Individuals will have a greater need for mental health services and younger people will be at higher risk.
Statistics show that suicide rates in Greece are already rising. Between 2007 and 2009, suicides increased by 17%. In the first half of 2011 they had risen by 40%.