The charity Mind has conducted a research study on the mental health of the worker in today's economy. What they uncovered is shocking. A surprising number of workers are turning to anti-depressants to help eliminate stress and other mental health issues that are a direct result of the recession occurring at their workplace.
One out of every ten workers has seen a doctor for a work-related mental issue, and 7% of those are taking some form of anti-depressant. The study also found that half of the employees believe staff morale to be lower than normal, 5% of them have been seeing a counsellor, 28% have been working more hours, and one third stated that there is now competition between co-workers.
Due to the current atmosphere that includes longer hours, lower morale, and added competition in the workplace, there is an increased concern about the mental health of hundreds of thousands of people who employed.
The number of incidents of work related mental health problems and badly managed stress has been increased by the recession, but it is in no way a new issue brought on by the recession. In previous years, research has shown that upwards of five million workers consider themselves very stressed or extremely stressed because of their jobs, and that one in six workers suffer mental health issues related to the job.
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In the new study, Mind discovered that nearly 50% of the participants had lost some sleep due to job related concerns and 22% developed symptoms of depression throughout the course of their careers. Additionally, one in five had become physically ill because of work related stress, while one in four had actually cried while at work because of the stress. Perhaps the most shocking of all is that only 38% believe that their employer is supportive enough.
According to Paul Farmer, the Chief Executive of Mind, these statistics should not be surprising considering how much of our lives are spent at work. Many mental health issues can stem from working in a bad environment, including depression and exhaustion. He also says that a healthy work environment is beneficial to our mental well-being, and that it is the responsibility of not only the employer, but the employee as well to ensure that they are in a healthy, helpful work environment.
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