Worklessness and Mental Illness

A UK review of the British working-age found that long-term worklessness is one of the greatest known risks to public health. The significant links between mental illness and workless include

  • Workless people having up to ten times more episodes of anxiety and depression than their working peers (Waddell & Burton, 2006)
  • Prolonged unemployment reduces life expectancy more than many 'killer diseases' (Waddell and Alylward, 2005)
  • Suicide rates in young men who have been workless for more than six months is increased 40 x (Wessely, 2004) and are increased 6x in the general population (Bartley et al, 2005).