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20 August 2010

Recession affecting mental health

Researchers have found that people affected by the economic recession have a higher risk for mental illness, especially such conditions as depression and anxiety.

The economic downturn has put millions out of work, but their bank accounts aren't the only things suffering as unemployment remains high and they struggle to find a job.

The government also has promulgated rules to ensure that large businesses choosing to offer mental health and substance abuse benefits, make them available at a level comparable to their existing medical insurance benefits.

Mental health on the brink

  • Embracing the transformative possibilities of their new lives. "They can see this not as the catastrophic end of a lifelong plan to be successful, but more an opportunity to look at that plan, take a look at the world and be ready to take advantage of new opportunities that will eventually emerge," Shern said.
  • Making sure they stay connected with people. "When people are unemployed, they are going to lose that connection," he said. "They lose a very important social network that they had."
  • Finding pleasurable and relaxing pastimes that don't cost money. They could go for a walk, play with their kids or enjoy an old board game that's been gathering dust on a shelf. "Thinking about it, there are a lot of things to do," Stotland said. "There are all sorts of things you can do that you've been overlooking."
  • Eating right and exercising. Following a healthy lifestyle has been shown to promote mental wellness and decrease depression and anxiety, Shern said. (August 2010)

 
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