Unemployment can damage psychological well-being by causing stress, triggering mental health problems and reducing self esteem. Involuntary and prolonged unemployment can induce suicide-related factors such as depression and a sense of hopelessness among the affected individuals and previous studies have consistently concluded that unemployment, directly or indirectly, leads to suicidal behaviour. A Hong Kong study compared 76 unemployed people who had killed themselves with 15 living unemployed people to see what factors led to some unemployed people being more at risk than others of commiting suicide. The researchers found that those who had killed themselves were more likely to be male, to have suffered from psychiatric illness and to have attempted suicide before. They also had acquired less competent social-problem-solving skills.
Wincey, S.C. Chan ... [et al] - Suicide and unemployment: what are the missing links? Archives of Suicide Research November 2007, 11(4), 327-335