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unemployment « Previous | |Next »
May 10, 2009

Unemployment can cause mental illness for those thrown out of work or unable to find work, as well as mental illness being a key contributor to the high level of youth unemployment.Depression means extra work for psychologists.

As well as the mums trying to re-enter the workforce we also have the older workers being sacked and the school leavers unable to find work. Unemployment is the most likely thing to push someone into a bad depression. Since work is often a significant source of an individual’s sense of worth and self-esteem losing your job and facing an uncertain future often results in suffering from an eroded sense of self-confidence--especially if it takes a long time to find another job.

psychologists.jpg Matt Golding

There has been a big shift away from older workers. During the boom older workers were being kept on due to a shortage of labour. During the bust the older workers are being moved aside to make way for the younger workers in the workforce. It is unlikely that the older workers will find another job.

I guess that the Rudd government will increasingly emphasis active labour market programs that involve intensive job-search, vocationally-focused education and training, social or economic participation obligations (including work or work-type activities) and increased penalties for non-compliance, rather than systems based on passive income support.

Will there also be growing attention to the mental health of income support recipients so as provide opportunities for vulnerable and disadvantaged people as a key aspect of the welfare reform process in Australia?Will an aim of welfare reform in Australia be to reduce entrenched disadvantage by achieving higher levels of economic and social participation?

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 11:12 AM | | Comments (12)


The situation of our mental health services is already in crisis. Few psychiatrists are willing to take on new patients, least of all patients without incomes.

The lack of mental health services flows on to patients not being able to compete in a very competitive job market.

Yes, it's a funny story this, like "Catch 22".
High unemployment has been a fact of life since the recession of the mid- seventies, that saw the end of what some have termed "the golden era".
The thing is, you are hamstrung from the beginning with this thing and spend thirty years playing catch up for the earlier setbacks. This includes having to deal with the Daleks at Social Security ( god bless the ol' SS! ) and morons at home and on the street with half your brains who, on a diet of too much Ray Martin and Alan Jones, pass you off as a "dole bludger".
Let alone scraping along on the poverty line and having to deal with indifferent thru to condescending employment clerks at the places you have to waste hours and hours finding, just to get knocked back so you can fill in your forms for the fortnight.
Mercifully, they then discovered "queue jumpers", for new a scapegoat, but not before a seemingly permanently hostile set up for unemployed people was set up.
And, of course, if medical people then diagnosed the onset of chronic depression after all the years of subtle "othering" and you got warehoused on sickness benefits or disability pension, you ran the gauntlet of a fresh set of insults questioning your integrity and sanity.
To whit.
One is "angry", NOT because of what's gone before, probably including being driven to drink over it all, but because there must be something "pathologically"
wrong with you, unless its because you would apparently prefer to wait for death rotting on a couple of hundred$ a week than have a good job and all the social accoutrements that go with that situation, as if you were some sort of moral degenerate.
Still it could be worse. It could be Bangladesh.
I know.
But when I watch pigs like Glenn Milne on Insiders this morning, it really does rankle; this Peter Principle thing obviously in play...

Lots of people have mental issues that will never be cured. They can be managed well by G.P's and there are plenty of councelling services around.

I didn't know that GP's were experts in mental health. I though that they dealt with physical health.

Paul,you speak the truth.The system as a whole is broke and has been for some time.A bit of tinkering around the edges will not change the system.Only a crisis may do that.I suspect that the necessary crisis is building but what will come out of it is anybody's guess.
Les,as a retired worker in the "health industry" I have observed how GPs deal with "mental illness".They very quickly reach for the scrip pad and the patient ends up on anti-depressants or the like with no attempt to get to the bottom of the problem in a sober manner.
GPs simply do not have the time for anything else.
They can refer to a counsellor.This is expensive and outside the reach of a lot of people.Also,I am sceptical about the ability of many counsellors and their motivation for getting into the industry.
I suspect that mental health is largely a symptom of large scale social dysfunction.

both psychiatrists and psychologists and deal with mental health. Psychologists have access to Medicare.

psychologists offer a different approach to mental health than GP's ---a non drug approach.

I fear that the reforms of Rudd and Gillard will not seriously address the mental issues of the unemployed (young and old) or those with disabilities. Those with disabilities, like older workers, will be the first to be laid off, and they will find it very difficult to find work. the real political cost could end up being on the jobless front. If recessions only last a few quarters the effects of unemployment last a generation.

So its back to the safety net of the welfare state with all the negatives that you mentioned. I do not hear anything about Gillard addressing those negatives---she appears to talk about apprenticeships all the time.

Disability does not feature very prominently in the Australian public sphere than in Britain.

When is the ABC going to have a news presenter with a disaability? That would provide a positive disabled role models on television in general.

A G.P makes the initial diagnosis of depression in most cases. They then assess whether the person is likely to do themselves or others an injury because of the depression. If they are confident this will not happen then anti-depressants is a option. Remember that there are different types of depression and it is wrong to categorize all into one group. There is a vast amount of reading material printed and on line that people can resource.

Most cases of depression can be resolved or self managed by people making changes in their life and healthy choices. Yes some do need psychologist help but the reality is that there would not be the resources of any country in the world to supply psychological help to everybody that has a real or suspected mental health issue.
Furthermore I would say the anti-depressants are vastly over prescribed as in lots of cases people are just sad and really just need a good kick up the bum.

" presenter with a disability..".
Fooled again.
Had them all pretty well written off as pathological,
Another example of Peter Principle?

The unemployed will be even more depressed tomorrow night when they miss out on an increase in payments while those on aged pensions already $30 a week better off will get a rise of $20 a week. They also have access to a health card. We are really good at punishing the voiceless, vulnerable members of our society.
We don't even count the number of unemployed accurately.