The British Medical Journal recently reported that more than 1,000 people in the UK may have killed themselves as a direct result of the recession.
Richard Colwill, of mental health charity Sane, said: “No one should be surprised that factors such as unemployment debt and relationship breakdowns can cause bouts of mental illness and may push people who are already vulnerable to take their own lives.”
Fear of the future can increase feelings of anxiety and hopelessness, leading to a spiral of emotional crises’ that can ultimately leave a person feeling like there is no way out.
Data collected by the Insight Research Group found that out of 300 doctors surveyed, most agreed that increasing austerity measures were damaging patients’ health and 77% said more patients were seeking treatment for anxiety. Prescriptions for anti-depressants have risen 28% from 34 million in 2007, to 43.4 million in 2011.
John Dalli, European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, has warned that the economic crisis could easily turn into a health crisis as governments continue to cut budgets to the bone.
The UK government is currently planning to cut £6.6 billion from mental health care services across the country in a bid to reduce national debt.
The National Mental Health Development Unit (NMHDU) predicts that a cut of just £150 million from the annual mental health budget could end up costing billions in side-effects as patients get left untreated for problems that could affect their productivity and attendance at work, or leave them needing treatment for physical problems induced by ill mental health.
If you would like to find out more about the help available for people dealing with mental health problems, please visit our Therapies page.
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