Alberta’s Medical Examiner warned that suicides are expected to jump 30% in 2015 reaching 654 suicides. Prior to 2015 suicides average about 500 to 550 per year. That’s far more deaths than car crash fatalities which average around 350-360 per year in Alberta. In the first six months of  2015 there were already 327 suicides.

Is this dramatic rise in suicides related to falling oil prices and a down-turn in Alberta’s economy?

Alberta’s total number of unemployed is expected to jump by 28% in 2015 with an estimated 143,000 men and women currently out of work in November 2015.

Being unemployed is one of the greatest killers of happiness. People need meaningful work to feel dignified.

How does unemployment impact suicide and what is the cost of suicide to our economy?

According to US statistics for 2013, there were roughly 32 suicide attempts and 226 people thinking about suicide for every suicide completed.

The direct and indirect projected economic costs (e.g. medical system cost, lost productivity) of 654 projected suicides in Alberta in 2015 could exceed $811 million.

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