‘Crisis in Greece hits mental health’

Economic crisis in Greece hits nation™s mental health (file photo).

A study says economic crisis in recession-mired Greece has a major impact on the nation’s mental health.

According to the study, conducted by the Athens University Institute for Mental Health Research (EPIPSI), the number of Greeks suffering from major depressive disorder (MDD), also known as clinical depression, has increased by over 50 percent since 2011.

The findings of the study, released on Wednesday, said compared to 8.2 percent of people who suffered from the illness in 2011, over 12 percent of Greeks are currently suffering from sadness and hopelessness which are symptoms of the disease.

The study links the drastic rise in the illness to tough austerity measures imposed by the government.

Meanwhile, official data has shown that the number of people who committed suicide in Greece increased 43 percent between 2007 and 2011.

Greek Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) said last month that there was 26.5 percent increase in the suicide rate in 2011 compared to a year before and 43 percent compared to 2007, the year before the crisis began.

The agency said there were 328 suicides in 2007, 373 in 2008, 391 in 2009, 377 in 2010 and 477 in 2011.

Greece has been at the epicenter of the eurozone debt crisis and is experiencing its sixth year of recession, while harsh austerity measures have left tens of thousands of people without jobs.

The country™s unemployment is currently above 27 percent, banks are in a shaky position, and pensions and salaries have been slashed.

The European financial crisis began in early 2008. Insolvency now threatens heavily debt-ridden countries such as Greece, Portugal, Italy, Ireland, and Spain.

The worsening debt crisis has forced EU governments to adopt harsh austerity measures and tough economic reforms, which have triggered massive demonstrations in many European countries.


Copyright: Press TV