More than half a million diagnosed in Greece
More than half a million Greeks are estimated to have been diagnosed with depression, according to experts at the 2nd Mental Health Conference, which took place yesterday at Zappeion Hall in Athens. “In 2015, people with depression are estimated to have surpassed 500,000,” Petros Skapinakis, associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Ioannina, said, adding that matters could get worse if people don’t seek treatment. “Some people think they are not ill, while others have problems getting access to psychiatrists or think of the cost of therapy.” A number of experts insist that the rise in cases of depression is directly linked to the financial crisis and the problems it has created for thousands of households around the country. According to data from the country’s statistics agency, ELSTAT, approximately 36 percent of the population is on the verge of social exclusion and lives near the poverty line, while many experts believe the introduction of austerity measures has led to a dramatic 35 percent rise in suicide rates.