Psychiatry Investig.  2017 Jan;14(1):16-20. 10.4306/pi.2017.14.1.16.

The Economic Crisis in Greece and Its Impact on the Seasonality of Suicides in the Athens Greater Area

Affiliations
  • 1Second Department of Psychiatry, University of Athens Medical School, “Attikon” University General Hospital, Athens, Greece. christo.christodoulou@gmail.com
  • 2Psychiatric Hospital of Attica “Dafni”, Athens, Greece.
  • 3Athens Department of Forensic Medicine, Ministry of Justice, Athens, Greece.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: The economic crisis and the implementation of austerity measures in Greece lead to significant socioeconomic changes. The effects of the crisis were mainly felt by the Greek population during the years 2011 and 2012. This study aimed to investigate the impact of Greece's economic crisis on the seasonality of suicides in the Athens Greater Area.
METHODS
Data were collected for all recorded cases of suicides committed over a 5-year period (from 2008 to 2012) from the Athens Department of Forensic Medicine. Two sub-periods were studied in relation to the economic crisis: 2008–2010 and 2011–2012. Seasonality was estimated with the Poison regression variant of the circular normal distribution.
RESULTS
Suicide seasonality appeared significant during 2008–2010 (relative risk, RR=1.36) and strengthened in the years 2011–2012 (RR=1.69), when the impact of the austerity measures was increasingly being felt by the Greek society. Regarding the latter sub-period, seasonality was established for males (RR=1.75), individuals aged 45 years or more (RR=1.75) and suicide by hanging (RR=1.96).
CONCLUSION
The economic crisis in Greece, especially in the period during its effects had a significant impact on the population's economic condition, seems to have strengthened the seasonality of suicides, while a noteworthy suicide risk of 96% was revealed for suicides by hanging (peak in early June).

Keyword

Suicide; Seasonality; Economic crisis
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