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Unemployment: A Psychiatric Problem As Well?

  • Leonard Fagin (a1)
Extract

The spate of suicides and riots in unemployment-stricken towns has recently brought to public attention a feature of joblessness which had not figured in the minds of those that thought that it would only have financial and probably minor social consequences. Since then, a flurry of interest has been spurred by the media; they regularly report on studies that show some association between unemployment and ill health, quite often, and not surprisingly, to make party political meal of a long-term problem that is bound to have implications for health provision in this country, at least over the next two decades. As psychiatrists we all know the central role played by regular, satisfying employment in the mental health of our patients, and I am sure many of us are affected by our total inability to secure adequate rehabilitation alternatives on which we are sure our patients' future, and that of their families, depend to a great extent. Some of us may also have been aware of the increased demand on mental health resources over the past few years and of the worrying tendency for admissions into psychiatric hospitals to be prolonged because of the time it takes for an ex-patient to re-enter the labour force.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
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1 Jahoda, M., Lazarsfeld, P. & Zeisel, H. (1933) Marienthal: The Sociography of an Unemployed Community. London: Tavistock.
2 Eisenberg, P. & Lazarsfeld, P. (1938) The psychological effects of unemployment. Psychological Bulletin, 35, 358–90.
3 Kasl, S., Gore, S. & Cobb, S. (1975) The experience of losing a job: Reported changes in health, symptoms and illness behaviour. Psychosomatic Medicine, 37, 106–22.
4 Brenner, M. H. (1973) Mental Illness and the Economy. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
5 Unemployment Unit Bulletin No. 1 (1981) Tress House, 3 Stamford Street, London SE1.
6 Fagin, L. (1981) Unemployment and Health in Families. DHSS.
7 Daniel, W. W. (1970) Strategies for displaced workers. PEP Broadsheet, Vol. 38, No. 517.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0140-0789
  • EISSN: 2514-9954
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Unemployment: A Psychiatric Problem As Well?

  • Leonard Fagin (a1)
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