In the U.S. and overseas, the recession is taking a toll. In addition to bodies stacking up at morgues and cemeteries in foreclosure, we can now add to the list the phenomenon of economy-induced, work-related suicides.
As reported in The Guardian and other news outlets, France Telecom is experiencing a rash of suicides that began in the beginning of 2008. Since that time, there have been 24 suicides and 13 attempted suicides among the company’s 100,000 employees. The cause? Work stress. You can also listen to the full story on today’s All Things Considered.
Stress-related deaths are nothing new. In Japan, the country has seen an increase in incidents of karoshi, which literally translates to “death from overwork.” However, karoshi differs from stress-related suicide in that the manner of death is attributed to heart attack or stroke. Government and business leaders have begun to acknowledge, albeit slowly, the problems associated with over-working and have started to implement programs that strive to achieve more of a work/life balance.