Every day 29 people commit suicide, 10,400 a year, twice as many as in the UK and three times the rate of Spain and Italy. Failed suicides number 200,000. Suicide prevention schemes were first put in place in the UK in 1950, but it wasn’t until 2000 that France took active measures to reduce this level of deaths. Farmers seem to be the worst hit in both countries. In the UK one farmer a week decides to end his own life while in France it is one every day according to official figures. Someone put up white crosses in his village centre to remember French farmers who had taken their own life in the past year and erected 600 memorials. For French Farmers suicide is the third in line as a reason for death behind cancer and heart disease. Farmers, the majority being males, are 20% more likely to commit suicide than the rest of the population.
If we ask why there are so many desperate people, it is hard to find one answer. People cite the fact that many work for big nationalized companies for life. Times change and new skills are required, which threaten the older workers. In the UK it is far easier to change your job if you don’t like it anymore. In France, if you are ‘lucky’ enough to get a government job, or a rare CDI (permanent contract) then you would be stupid to leave that job with all of its perks and a good pension. Also people need a CDI in order to get a mortgage, rent an apartment or a loan for a car for example. However, if it is boring, not fulfilling or your colleagues bully you (12% of people say they have been bullied at work), do you risk leaving, when unemployment is at 24%, or stay and get more and more depressed and possibly suicidal?