The 2008 Global Financial Crisis that resulted in a deep recession in the UK was associated with a reversal in previously falling suicide rates in England, as well as increases in suicide attempts and depression, particularly in males. The full extent of the effect of the recession on population mental health and suicide is now becoming clear. It is critical that we learn lessons from this recession to enable more rapid and evidence-based responses to reduce the impact of future economic downturns on mental healthProject .
This report summarises findings from a National Institute of Health Research (NIHR)-funded research project that is assessing the impact of the recession on suicide rates. It is led by researchers from the University of Bristol, in collaboration with colleagues from the Universities of Manchester and Oxford. The research used national mortality statistics, inquest reports of people dying by suicide and interviews with people affected by the recession, including nineteen who had made suicide attempts, to understand ways in which the recession affected mental health and suicide.