The suicide rate in Alberta is climbing in the wake of the economic meltdown that has seen increasing unemployment in the province.
Thirty per cent more Albertans took their own lives in the first half of 2015 when compared to last year’s statistics, CBC News reports.
Head of the Centre for Suicide Prevention Mara Grunau calls the numbers “staggering.”
“It’s far more, far exceeds anything we would ever have expected, and we would never have expected to see this much this soon,” she told CBC.
From January to June of 2014, Alberta saw 252 suicides. That number jumped to 327 for the same period in 2015, which means the province could see as many as 654 suicides this year.
Meanwhile, unemployment in the province continues to rise. In November alone, 15,000 Albertans were added to the growing list of unemployed people in the province.
Homicide rates in the province are on the rise as well. There were 22 more murders in Alberta in 2014 as compared to 2013.