Commentary Suicides

Figures show fewer money-related suicides in Poland

The Polish Association of Suicidology has concluded that the drop in the number of economically-related suicides is due to improving household incomes, particularly in rural areas.

Last year a total of 241 people took their lives based on being unable to cope with financial incomes as the cause of their distress.

This figure contrasts with 2009, at the height of the last financial crisis, when as many as 504 people committed suicide for financial reasons. At that point, unemployment was rising and people who were left jobless were unable to cope with growing debt problems. Prior to the crisis, in the boom year of 2007, only 270 people took their lives for financial reasons. 

Halszka Witkowska from the Suicidology Association, says that the Polish stereotype of the strong silent male, who can cope with what life throws at him, is part of the problem. “The statistical suicide is a 40-year old, from a rural area, who has an alcohol problem.” 

One of the reasons for the drop in fatalities caused by the financial situation is that joblessness has dropped, while, at the same time, families now have the cushion of child benefits in the form of the 500+ payments introduced in 2016 – a universal subsidy of PLN 500 (EUR 116). 

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