The 'quiet epidemic' of increasing suicides among French farmers


The most recent available statistics, made public in 2016 by France’s public health institute, show that 985 farmers killed themselves from 2007 to 2011, a suicide rate 22 percent higher than that of the general population and to a backdrop of increasing economic hardship among rural populations, while the real numbers are feared to be greater still because of suicides not officially declared by doctors.

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A dairy farmer, Jean-Pierre Le Guelvout, once kept 66 cows at a thriving estate in southern Brittany. But falling milk prices, accumulating debts, depression and worries about his heath in middle age became too much to bear, reports The New York Times.