Consequences of the financial crisis in Greece were seen in the hundreds of thousands of lost jobs, raised taxes and lower incomes. This type of consequences can also affect a population’s well being, which was mainly seen in the overall mental health of the Greek people. According to health experts and different studies, depression and suicide rates grew exponentially during the Greek debt crisis.
As people’s vulnerability to suicide grew, so did overcrowding of psychiatric hospitals and clinics. There could be seen a 30% rise in calls to suicide hotlines, as well as a 40% increase in suicides from 2010 to 2015.
In November last year, the Greek Health Ministry assembled a committee of mental health experts to prepare awareness campaigns and make plans to ensure all areas of the capital have at least one psychiatric hospital or clinic, as well as to train general practitioners to better detect depression and other mental health issues.
People affected by mental illness were generally unemployed people no longer able to take care of their children, aged 40 or over, with no previous signs of mental illness. Doctors and nurses are also feeling overwhelmed, in Dafni, one of the main psychiatric hospitals in Greece, two doctors treat together about 35 to 40 patients, while some doctors and nurses work at different centers.
Even though the Greek government is addressing the lacks of the healthcare system, health experts say that while unemployment, debt, and insecurity are still present, so will the mental health crisis.