Underlining stress on Greek society, suicide rate doubled in first years of economic crisis


Since 77-year-old Dimitris Christoulas put a gun to his head a few metres from Greek Parliament and shot himself in April 2012, suicides gained a prominent and painful place in the narrative of the Greek crisis. In a suicide note, Christoulas decried the government and its austerity policies. His gesture and the reality of Greece’s situation have made it very difficult to separate the country’s worrying suicide statistics from its economic plight.

Data released ahead of World Suicide Prevention Day last week showed that suicides doubled between 2009 and 2011. The number of deaths by suicide rose from 2.5 per 100,000 of the population before 2009 to over five per 100,000, or 1,245 during the three...

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