In a recent article in the Irish Medical Times dealing with the effect of recession and unemployment on suicide levels, the following startling statistics emerge.
Why is usage so much higher a few kilometres up the road? It can't be the weather or lack of sunlight. Is it a lingering after-effect of the violence that rocked Northern Ireland from the 1960s to the late 1990s? Or is the UK NHS being a little too laissez-faire, chucking happy pills across the counter at all and sundry?However, the number of adults [in the Republic of Ireland] who have used sedatives and tranquillisers over the previous year has risen by 1.8 per cent since 2006/07, but rates of antidepressant use have remained steady.
Both of these statistics are still significantly below usage figures in Northern Ireland, where antidepressant and sedative use is almost three times and double that in the Republic.
All in all, it seems that so far, despite a sharp rise in unemployment in the Republic, there has only been a small rise in suicides (compare with Greece where the rise has been 60%) although the authors do note that there often is a delayed impact that has effects years after the economic crisis takes hold.
1. Recession ‘adding urgency’ to suicide prevention need
(Answer "yes" to the medical professional question or you won't get to see the article.)