Canadian Suicides on Rise in Wake of Depressed Oil Sector

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Via Infowars via the Guardian:

Jesse Seibel of Whitecourt, Alberta, used to wake up every day at 3am, fully rested and ready to work. Having laboured in the northern oil patch since his teens, just like his father, the tattooed and pierced wireliner had grown oddly appreciative of the work’s long hours and hard labour.

At 26, Seibel, who never finished high school, was earning as much as $5,000 a month threading electrical cables into reservoirs, enough to live comfortably and never miss paying rent and child support.

Then, last February, he was sent on a three-day stint, not knowing that his employer was preparing his termination papers. He learned that he’d been laid off along with others days later. Within months, he and his girlfriend were homeless and moving into his parents’ house.

Now he’s $7,000 behind on child support payments. “I tried so hard to do it on my own, be a good father – the guy who goes to work everyday and earns his money,” he says. “It’s very depressing.”

Seibel’s represents one of 40,000 Alberta oil jobs lost since the price of petroleum plummeted late last year. According to Petroleum Labour Market Information, 185,000 will have been lost by spring, as a result of the market crash.

But just two years ago, life in Canada’s energy hub was different: the oil industry accounted for 87% of all jobs, and more and more people were moving west for work. Today, unemployment is creeping to 2008 levels, employment insurance beneficiaries have doubled, and the once economic powerhouse is in the throes of a potential mental health crisis.

Between January and June, suicides spiked 30% compared to 2014. At this rate, 654 Albertans will have killed themselves this year, an unprecedented number for a region that already had the second highest suicide rates amongst the 10 provinces. Only Saskatchewan, another energy-dependent region, has a higher rate, and it’s seen 19% more suicides this year.

Read more at the Guardian.

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