There were 508 suicides in Greece in 2012, according to the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT), which represents a rise of 36 percent since 2008, before the country’s economic crisis began.
It is not clear from ELSTAT’s data whether this rise is directly related to the crisis. However, the figures indicate there has been an increase in the number of people taking their own lives over the last few years.
In 2008, 373 people committed suicide. This rose to 391 in 2009 and then dipped to 377 in 2012. In 2011, however, the figure increased again to 477 before reaching 508 in 2013.
ELSTAT adds a proviso to its data on suicides. “It should be noted that any discrepancies from the corresponding data of other agencies may be on account of different methodology used or other underlying factors, such as the need for time-consuming research by the Forensic Medicine Services in order to investigate the conditions resulting to the death, deaths caused by late effects after a failed suicide attempt, etc,” the statistics agency said.
The ELSTAT figures for causes of death, released on Monday, also showed there was an increase of 5 percent in overall deaths in Greece last year.
The major causes of death for 2012 were cardiovascular diseases with 49,728 deaths, followed by neoplasms with 28,201 deaths and then by diseases of the respiratory system with 11,384 deaths.