Raising Minimum Wage Improves Mental Health, Prevents Deaths by Suicide


NPR: Raising The Minimum Wage By $1 May Prevent Thousands Of Suicides, Study Shows

Hoosier Republicans from Governor Eric Holcomb to U.S. Senators Mike Braun and Todd Young and even the Indiana General Assembly have all opposed an increase to the minimum wage for 892,000 Hoosiers

FACT SHEET: Debunking GOP Myths about the Minimum Wage

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Democratic Party, the organization that advocates for the future of Indiana and its families, today brought to light an extended value for raising the national minimum wage to $15.00 an hour: human life. According to a study released in January 2020, raising the minimum wage by as little as one dollar could save about 27,000 lives. Why? Raising the minimum wage prevents death by suidide when it’s harder to find a job or during times of economic stress — like the COVID-19 pandemic. About 30-percent (892,000 Hoosiers) of Indiana’s workforce earns a minimum wage.

The Indiana Democratic Party expects all Republicans in Indiana’s congressional delegation will keep their word and vote against an increase to the minimum wage tomorrow. Their “nay” votes will be a snub to Hoosiers and will deny 892,000 Hoosiers a pathway to better opportunity — including mental health wellness. 

Here are some key points to this story: 

Raising The Minimum Wage By $1 May Prevent Thousands Of Suicides, Study Shows
NPR // Graison Dangor

“A new study suggests that raising the minimum wage might lower the suicide rate — especially when unemployment is high — and that doing so might have saved tens of thousands of people from dying by suicide in the last quarter century.

The minimum federal minimum wage is $7.25, though many states have set it higher. Between 1990 and 2015, raising the minimum wage by $1 in each state might have saved more than 27,000 lives, according to a report published this week in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health. An increase of $2 in each state’s minimum wage could have prevented more than 57,000 suicides.” […]

“Crucially, researchers found that raising the minimum wage appears to reduce the suicide rate more when it’s harder to find a job. In bad times, the same $1 increase could save more people than it might during good times.” […]

“The researchers found that 26,000 deaths could have been prevented following the 2009 peak in unemployment during the last recession had the minimum wage been $2 higher.

The report focused on less-educated adults because that group is more likely to earn the minimum wage. That group is also at a higher risk of depression and suicide…” […]“A number of other researchers are exploring the connections between the economy and our well-being. The study is the third in less than a year to show that raising the minimum wage may lower suicide rates, says Dr. Alexander Tsai, an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard’s Massachusetts General Hospital, who was not involved with the current research.

A working paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research in April 2019 estimated that raising the minimum wage and the earned income tax credit by 10% each could prevent 1,230 people from dying by suicide each year.

What’s new about the study led by Kaufman, says Tsai, is its discovery that the wage hikes lower the suicide rates more when unemployment is high.” […]

“To figure out whether the minimum wage was related to suicide rates, Kaufman and his coauthors looked at both numbers, by state, for every month between 1990 to 2015. They ran the numbers through a mathematical model which showed, on average, that for every $1 increase in the minimum wage, the suicide rate lowered by somewhere from 3.5% to 6%. When they added unemployment rates into the model, they found that the effect of each $1 increase appeared to be greater when more people were out of work.” […]


Let’s elect more Hoosier Democrats
We can't sit this one out.