Heavy Debt Increases Suicide Risk
New research has revealed that more than 100,000 people per year attempt suicide due to struggling with large debts.
One in 14 adults are currently struggling with large debts, this is according to research by the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen), Britain’s largest independent social research body. The report shows that intimidating letters sent by bailiffs, debt collectors and councils raise the risk of suicide of those already struggling with the worry of debt.
People struggling with debt – meaning those struggling with bills, credit agreements, or have been cut off by their energy suppliers – are more than three times more likely than the general population to have suicidal thoughts.
NatCen’s findings, based on its analysis of a huge NHS dataset called the adult psychiatric morbidity survey, also found that:
- People with multiple debts are five times more likely to have tried to kill themselves than those with one debt.
- Almost a quarter (23%) of those who made a suicide attempt last year were in problem debt.
- The “double stigma” around debt and suicide means many of those who are struggling do not tell anyone how they are feeling or seek help.
“This is harrowing new evidence that far from tackling the burning injustice of mental ill health, the actions of this government are pouring petrol on the flames”, said Barbara Keeley, the shadow minister for mental health.
“The continual rise in poverty, insecure work and the crisis of low pay brought on by the decision of this callous government to pursue austerity relentlessly is seeing shockingly high numbers of people in desperate straits attempt to take their own lives.”