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Fri Apr 3, 2020, 08:33 PM

Experts Warn Of Mental Health Fallout From Mass U.S. Unemployment, Coronavirus Crisis

Last edited Fri Apr 3, 2020, 09:25 PM - Edit history (1)

'Experts warn of mental health fallout from mass US unemployment.' The coronavirus crisis is causing catastrophic levels of joblessness but the damage will not only be economic. The Guardian, April 4, 2020.

The US faces a catastrophic rise in unemployment following the forced shutdown of businesses across the country to stop the spread of Covid-19 – and experts are warning it could trigger a severe mental health crisis. In just two weeks, more than 9.95 million Americans have applied for unemployment – smashing all records. Economists are predicting the unemployment rate could rise as high as 30% as the pandemic sweeps across the country.
Those hardest hit are likely to be the poorest, including many people of color, and those who benefited least from the last economic boom.

“With a 30% national unemployment rate, the impact will be devastating for everyone. But it will be particularly crushing for black Americans,” said William Darity, a professor of economics at Duke University and co-author of a study that found black Americans with no history of mental health diagnoses were more likely to have depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder during the 2007-09 Great Recession. To mitigate the effects of the massive wave of unemployment, Congress has passed a $2.2tn stimulus package to help everyday Americans. The bill includes a payment of up to $1,200 to most taxpayers and $250bn to buffer unemployment insurance – an additional $600 to those who qualify for unemployment for up to 12 weeks.

But beyond the dollar signs, economists are worried about the long-term effects that being unemployed will have on Americans’ mental health – a problem that will further highlight the cracks in the country’s safety net and healthcare system.

It may seem cliche but work is not all about the money, and research proves it. “People want to work. They want to do meaningful things,” said Art Goldsmith, a professor of economics at Washington and Lee University who has researched the psychological effects of unemployment. Although Goldsmith noted there is evidence that people experience a brief period of optimism when they are first let go from their jobs – they find they have more time to do other tasks, like cleaning out a garage – dangerous feelings of pessimism can set in after four to five weeks of unemployment. “As the weeks go on, and we see the economy struggling, I think there will be more pessimism. I worry the emotional footprint of this experience can be quite large,” Goldsmith said.

A $1,200 check from the government and stronger unemployment insurance benefits will help Americans in the short term to pay their bills and other essentials but it cannot replace the value of having a job.

“People who have meaning and purpose in their work have much, much higher levels of wellbeing than other people,” said Carol Graham, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a professor at the University of Maryland. “People will trade off money for doing work they care about and doing work where they have respect and autonomy.”
The effects of unemployment on mental health are long-lasting. An Association for Psychological Science study published in September 2019 found that those who experienced financial, housing or job-related hardship during the Great Recession were more likely to have depression, anxiety or substance abuse as many as three years after the recession...

More, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/03/mental-health-coronavirus-mass-unemployment-us-experts

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Reply Experts Warn Of Mental Health Fallout From Mass U.S. Unemployment, Coronavirus Crisis (Original post)
appalachiablue Apr 3 OP
SheltieLover Apr 3 #1
I_UndergroundPanther Apr 3 #5
SheltieLover Apr 5 #9
Igel Apr 3 #7
at140 Apr 3 #2
beachbumbob Apr 3 #3
Igel Apr 3 #8
elleng Apr 3 #4
BootinUp Apr 3 #6

Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Fri Apr 3, 2020, 08:36 PM

1. Chronic stress has a cummulative effect

& everyone has a threshold. When stressors continue to compound, at some point, a psychotic split is possible & often likely. 😢

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Response to SheltieLover (Reply #1)

Fri Apr 3, 2020, 08:53 PM

5. I had that happen to me

It was like my brain betrayed me and I was in another reality. I went psychotic. It's a very strange,scary and confused place to be. Went psychotic twice. I already had PTSD my mind changed. It was like a strange fever dream with no fever.

It happened when I lost my home,my cats,went to the psych unit quite a few times, got outed and raped in one psych ward,got supportive housing with horrible abusive staff,
All that piled on top of dissociation and pstd,major depression etc.

Going psychotic was the nightmare icing on the cake of one of the worst times in my life. There have been alot of worst times in my life.

Been psychotic quite a few times from stress.

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Response to I_UndergroundPanther (Reply #5)

Sun Apr 5, 2020, 08:04 PM

9. So sorry to hear!😭

Big hugs, Panther!

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Response to SheltieLover (Reply #1)

Fri Apr 3, 2020, 10:37 PM

7. And yet when it was suggested there was

even another side to consider in the shutdown, the response was, "No, there isn't--no increased suicide, there's *no* important side effect that anybody should even think about considering."

Yeah. There's this.

There are the unattached kids who won't learn without somebody there to tell them. The one's who'll get in trouble left to their own devices.

Depression and feelings of worthlessness are correlated with a mess of health problems, from increased deaths from cancer, obesity, and drug use. Not just suicide narrowly understood. Look at any economically depressed community, from white Appalachia to inner cities, and you'll see that.

But when a person's life is in danger because they think there's a 60% chance that they will die from COVID-19--statistics be damned, they *believe* with the passion of any fundie preacher and they're every bit as rational.

The question isn't *whether* there's a balance. After we get past the craziness of saying there is not question, the question is obviously a matter of where the balance lies. It's still on the side of shut-down. But since on both sides are lives lost, that's gives one solution. For many, quality of life matters. That gives another solution. But for people whose values start and stop with money and their own personal safety, there can't be a question.

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Fri Apr 3, 2020, 08:38 PM

2. Not to mention spike in domestic violence

A nearby couple, both stuck at home, ready to kill each other.
I hear them shouting every day. And their house is 2 houses down.

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Fri Apr 3, 2020, 08:39 PM

3. mental health will be the least of our worries in coming months

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Response to beachbumbob (Reply #3)

Fri Apr 3, 2020, 10:39 PM

8. Yes.

It's a kind of balance. The question isn't if there's a balance--it's where the balance is.

For now, I think it's fairly clear. In two months, it may not be clear. But being honest about the simple fact that there *is* a balance is a big step forwards in empathy and morality for many.

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Fri Apr 3, 2020, 08:42 PM

4. This impact is no doubt already being felt by many.

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Fri Apr 3, 2020, 09:47 PM

6. I am counting my blessings. Nt

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