“Work worries increase mental illness”

“It’s well-known that unemployment can lead to mental health problems but doctors say those still in a job are suffering too” (The Scotsman, 24 August 2012)

I wish I could say that this headline comes as a surprise, but of course it doesn’t. I have seen too much evidence to support this claim over the past two years and unless and until the economy picks up, we can expect a lot more.

To summarise the austerity Insight Research Group GP opinion survey conducted recently it concludes that;

  • Just because you have a job, don’t expect to escape mental health issues brought about by worrying about job security and related financial concerns.
  • The recession is seriously damaging our mental health.
  • Those in employment are displaying much greater levels of stress, depression, panic attacks and anxiety.
  • Increased workloads and working longer hours leads to higher levels of mental illness in the working population.
  • Drink and drug dependency has increased and the amount of time spent exercising has decreased.

Employers need to be aware of these potential issues and put support structures in place to mitigate the impact on their staff and the business. Sadly, this is not happening enough although there are some very enlightened employers who are trying hard.

Catherine Quinn writing in today’s Scotsman finishes by saying, “We can only hope that the recent rise in mental illness balances out when the economy is back in rude health, and perhaps when the next recession rolls around, we’ll be forward thinking enough to realise that just like any health complaint, a mental disorder is often a temporary stall in an otherwise successful career”

Hear! hear!

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4 thoughts on ““Work worries increase mental illness”

  1. This post is spot on. My position is dangling in danger as management puts more stresses on me and empty promises. I do not feel secure. As Judy said, I wonder if it would be easier if they made the decision for me and just fired me already so I could move on. I would feel guilty for abandoning them right now. I actually care about what I do. But I hate feeling like this every day. Something has to change soon.

  2. I’m very sorry to hear that you are in limbo at the moment I know from my experience what that feels like and it’s not nice at all. Perhaps this is a good time to reflect on what YOU want to do and focus on that. You are the most important person in this equation and whilst it’s ok to care and be loyal, sometimes it can take its toll. I try to put my worries to one side and concentrate on the things I can control rather than worry about something that I have absolutely no influence over. It does help. I hope that you find a little more peace during what are clearly troubled times. Take care.

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