Mental Health and Long Term Unemployment – anxiety and depression

THE high rate of unemployment on the Sunshine Coast could lead to an increase in depression, anxiety, drug use and even suicide. Toula Gordillo, a Kawana Waters Medical Centre clinical psychologist, said failing to get a job could damage the mental health of youths, particularly over a long period of time. “Some young people may have negative or pessimistic thought patterns, and remaining unemployed over a long period can exacerbate these patterns of thinking,” Ms Gordillo said. “Research shows that there is sometimes higher rates of depression, anxiety, and unfortunately suicide, among long-term unemployed youth and the wider population.” Ms Gordillo said drug use was, unfortunately, an issue among some.

“I have counselled several long-term unemployed individuals who do have a drug habit because they haven’t got any money, their life circumstances are poor and they may be unconsciously looking for an escape as a way of coping with a difficult situation,” she said.

“Some of my long-term unemployed clients are addicted to substances, but they may not know any other way of coping with their problems.”

Ms Gordillo said keeping busy and having something to be passionate about was important for good mental health.

“I think most people will agree that all individuals need to be actively engaged in life with a sense of purpose in order to be happy,” she said.

“Working generally makes a person feel like they can contribute to society and this can give them a feeling of purpose.

“I think it can be quite unhealthy for people not to work.”

Read More Francesca Mcmackin|    17th Sep 2013 7:02 AM The Ipswich Advertiser

unemployment image3 (7)Mental health and long term unemployment is a major health and social issue that needs attention

Australian Long-Term Unemployment Conference 2014

The Australian Long Term Unemployment conference was initiated by the Australian and New Zealand Mental Health Association, an incorporated non-government, not for profit organisation. It will provide a platform for a broad range of issues and groups, well beyond those associated with physical or mental health.

The Australian Long-Term Unemployment Conference in 2014 will focus on the at-risk groups:  Mature Age | Youth | Indigenous | Disability | Regional