Swedish media warns of potentially higher suicide rate amid economic difficulties

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Xinhua News

7th December 2022 – (Stockholm) Suicide rate might increase in Sweden amid difficult economic times, reported Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter on Tuesday.

“We know that there is a connection between economic recessions and increased suicide rates,” said Jenny Telander, deputy head of unit for mental health and suicide prevention of the Public Health Agency, told the daily.

There is concern that difficult economic times may affect those who are already having a tough time, which then leads to an increased suicide rate, the report said.

According to the latest national public health survey, 12 percent of Sweden’s population has had difficulty meeting current expenses for food, rent and bills in the past year. In this group, more people said that they had psychological problems such as stress, severe anxiety, worry or anxiety. Suicidal thoughts were three times more common among those with financial problems compared to others, the public health survey shows.

Swedish Enforcement Authority, a government agency that deals with the debt-related issue, said the most common threat the authority received were indebted people who said they were going to take their own life. Last year, the authority received 279 suicide threats. And 24 people committed suicide because of failing to pay debts in the year, the highest since 2015, said the authority.

Sweden’s central bank (Riksbank) announced on 24th November a 75-percentage-point key rate hike to 2.5 percent — the highest in 14 years. The bank said the rate hike was necessary as the country’s 12-month consumer price index (CPI) hit 10.9 percent in October.

In its Monetary Policy Report, the bank also said that the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to shrink by 1.2 percent in 2023 before starting to slowly increase again in 2024.

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