National Alliance on Mental Illness
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Job Loss Linked to Serious Health Risks

February 24, 2010

According to The New York Times, a rising number of research studies suggest that layoffs may be linked to serious health outcomes, including increased risk for heart attack, diabetes, depression and shortened life expectancy.

Studies indicate that lifestyle changes associated with layoffs and chronic stress or depression may lead some people to return to smoking, drinking more alcohol and exercising less. Another  study found that anxiety surrounding job insecurity may be an indicator of poor health and may be more harmful than actual job loss.

A recent survey conducted for NAMI found that the economic downturn was taking a profound toll on American’s mental health, as 13 percent of unemployed individuals reported that they have thought of harming themselves, which is four times more than reported by persons with full time work.

Additional resources:

NAMI Depression Survey

NAMI Hearts and Minds