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Recession hits mentally ill hard

29th July 2013

Research from King’s College London suggests people with mental health problems are more likely to end up unemployed in a recession.

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Between 2006 and 2010, the rate of unemployment for those with mental health problems rose from 12.7% to 18.2% whilst for others it rose from 7.1% to 9.8%. The figures show double the increase for those with mental health problems across the four year period.

The study also found men with mental health problems were particularly vulnerable, with the unemployment rate for this group increasing from 13.7% to 21.7%.

Dr Sara Evans-Lacko, lead study author and lecturer at the Institute of Psychiatry said, "During a recession people who already have mental health problems find their economic and social position gets worse.

"We don't exactly know why, but it's harder for people to get a job if there's already a gap on their CV and if employers need to cut staff then these people might be more vulnerable."

Prof Graham Thornicroft, also from the research team at the Institute of Psychiatry, commented that "Governments need to be aware of these risks, and employers need to be aware of their legal duty to comply with the Equality Act to support people with mental health problems coming into, and staying in, employment".

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