This week we learnt that the suicide rate in the U.K. has dramatically increased. It is of course male suicides that remain far higher (18.2 per 100,000 compared to 5.6 per 100,000) and male suicides are at their highest level for 10 years. Those most at risk are men in their 30’s and 40’s.
Of course, while this is a mental health issue, it is very linked to the serious downturn in the economy. International studies have shown that rates of suicide are, for example, very linked to unemployment rates eg http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00127-010-0275-2?LI=true.
One study of rates in 35 countries found, for example that males were particularly vulnerable to fluctuations in the labour market, but that suicide rates also decreased in countries where there was higher per capita health spending http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00127-010-0316-x?LI=true.