Self-harm and suicide increase in times of economic recession, but little is known about why people self-harm when in financial difficulty, and in what circumstances self-harm occurs. This study aimed to understand events and experiences leading to the episode of self-harm and to identify opportunities for prevention or mitigation of distress.
- Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
- Published over 4 years ago
Gold mining has rapidly increased in western Amazonia, but the rates and ecological impacts of mining remain poorly known and potentially underestimated. We combined field surveys, airborne mapping, and high-resolution satellite imaging to assess road- and river-based gold mining in the Madre de Dios region of the Peruvian Amazon from 1999 to 2012. In this period, the geographic extent of gold mining increased 400%. The average annual rate of forest loss as a result of gold mining tripled in 2008 following the global economic recession, closely associated with increased gold prices. Small clandestine operations now comprise more than half of all gold mining activities throughout the region. These rates of gold mining are far higher than previous estimates that were based on traditional satellite mapping techniques. Our results prove that gold mining is growing more rapidly than previously thought, and that high-resolution monitoring approaches are required to accurately quantify human impacts on tropical forests.
A period of economic recession may be particularly difficult for people with mental health problems as they may be at higher risk of losing their jobs, and more competitive labour markets can also make it more difficult to find a new job. This study assesses unemployment rates among individuals with mental health problems before and during the current economic recession.
- The British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science
- Published over 3 years ago
There has been a substantial rise in ‘economic suicides’ in the Great Recessions afflicting Europe and North America. We estimate that the Great Recession is associated with at least 10 000 additional economic suicides between 2008 and 2010. A critical question for policy and psychiatric practice is whether these suicide rises are inevitable. Marked cross-national variations in suicides in the recession offer one clue that they are potentially avoidable. Job loss, debt and foreclosure increase risks of suicidal thinking. A range of interventions, from upstream return-to-work programmes through to antidepressant prescriptions may help mitigate suicide risk during economic downturn.
Since the economic recession began in 2008 anecdotal reports suggest that mental health services in England have experienced disinvestment, but published data to test this proposition are few.
The financial crisis in Europe has posed major threats and opportunities to health. We trace the origins of the economic crisis in Europe and the responses of governments, examine the effect on health systems, and review the effects of previous economic downturns on health to predict the likely consequences for the present. We then compare our predictions with available evidence for the effects of the crisis on health. Whereas immediate rises in suicides and falls in road traffic deaths were anticipated, other consequences, such as HIV outbreaks, were not, and are better understood as products of state retrenchment. Greece, Spain, and Portugal adopted strict fiscal austerity; their economies continue to recede and strain on their health-care systems is growing. Suicides and outbreaks of infectious diseases are becoming more common in these countries, and budget cuts have restricted access to health care. By contrast, Iceland rejected austerity through a popular vote, and the financial crisis seems to have had few or no discernible effects on health. Although there are many potentially confounding differences between countries, our analysis suggests that, although recessions pose risks to health, the interaction of fiscal austerity with economic shocks and weak social protection is what ultimately seems to escalate health and social crises in Europe. Policy decisions about how to respond to economic crises have pronounced and unintended effects on public health, yet public health voices have remained largely silent during the economic crisis.
We examined gender differences in mental health outcomes during and post-recession versus pre-recession. We utilized 2005-2006, 2008-2009, and 2010-2011 data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. Females had lower odds of depression diagnoses during and post-recession and better mental health during the recession, but higher odds of anxiety diagnoses post-recession. Males had lower odds of depression diagnoses and better mental health during and post-recession and lower Kessler 6 scores post-recession. We conducted stratified analyses, which confirmed that the aforementioned findings were consistent across the four different regions of the U.S., by employment status, income and health care utilization. Importantly, we found that the higher odds of anxiety diagnoses among females after the recession were mainly prominent among specific subgroups of females: those who lived in the Northeast or the Midwest, the unemployed, and those with low household income. Gender differences in mental health in association with the economic recession highlight the importance of policymakers taking these differences into consideration when designing economic and social policies to address economic downturns. Future research should examine the reasons behind the decreased depression diagnoses among both genders, and whether they signify decreased mental healthcare utilization or increased social support and more time for exercise and leisure activities.
The recent global recession and concurrent rise in job loss makes unemployment insurance (UI) increasingly important to smooth patterns of consumption and keep households from experiencing extreme material poverty. In this paper, we undertake a realist review to produce a critical understanding of how and why UI policies impact on poverty and health in different welfare state contexts between 2000 and 2013. We relied on literature and expert interviews to generate an initial theory and set of propositions about how UI might alleviate poverty and mental distress. We then systematically located and synthesized peer-review studies to glean supportive or contradictory evidence for our initial propositions. Poverty and psychological distress, among unemployed and even the employed, are impacted by generosity of UI in terms of eligibility, duration and wage replacement levels. Though unemployment benefits are not intended to compensate fully for a loss of earnings, generous UI programs can moderate harmful consequences of unemployment.
Suicide rates increase during periods of economic recession, but little is known about the characteristics of people whose deaths are related to recession, the timing of risk in relation to job loss, the nature of financial stresses and the sources of help individuals used.
The recent economic recession represents an opportunity to test whether decreases in economic resources may have deleterious consequences on childhood overweight/obesity risk.