Suicides In The UK Linked To Debt Collectors [Report]

Intimidating debt collectors and irresponsible lending are to blame for thousands of suicides in Briton, according to a new report on Wednesday.

Researchers with England’s University of Brighton found that many people who are already struggling with wage freezes, benefit cuts, and the economic slowdown in the country are feeling overwhelmed after they are harassed by money lenders.

NBC News reports that the report stated:

“Debt clients frequently feel humiliated, disconnected and entrapped, with the process of debt collection having a clear impact on people’s mental health.”

Separately from the report, figures from the Office for National Statistics, which were released on Tuesday, also showed a “significant” rise in suicides in 2012. The Brighton report added:

“The government must take urgent action to tackle the problem of irresponsible lending and intimidatory collection tactics which has left thousands of people trapped in a spiral of debt and at risk of depression and even suicide.”

There were 6,045 reported suicides in the UK in 2011, up 7.8 percent from 2010, according to Reuters. Marjorie Wallace, the chief executive of British mental health charity SANE, stated:

“These figures … reveal the profound human consequences of the economic downturn, in which unemployment, debt and the relationship breakdowns that often follow can push people who may already be vulnerable to take their own lives.”

The rate of men committing suicide is significantly higher than the rate of women. In 2011, 4,552 men committed suicide, while 1,493 women took their lives.

The trend in the UK is one reflected in other Western countries hit hard by recessions. The report was launched by British parliamentarian Molly Meacher, who stated that there are also cases of people not eating properly and asking their young children for money to tide them over.

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