Mounting financial pressure and insecurity caused by major job losses across the country could put the mental health of millions of Brits at risk, it has been warned.
The COVID-19 outbreak is resulting in thousands of businesses drastically reducing their team sizes to remain afloat, leaving some experts to predict an increase in the unemployment rate from almost 4% to well in excess of 8% in the coming weeks.
This would leave Britain with an unemployment rate similar to what was seen in the recession.
Despite the government’s announcement of extensive subsidies to help employers pay wages and the implementation of business rate and mortgage holidays, the impact of Coronavirus is set to leave hundreds of thousands of people out of work and unable to meet financial obligations such as rent and bill payments.
A considerable proportion of those who lose their jobs may not be able to find suitable work for some time.
Concerns are growing as to the impact of such job losses on the mental wellbeing of millions across Britain.
Research by mental health treatment specialists Smart TMS suggests 44% of Brits typically have less than £20 left in their account at the end of the month after meeting their monthly financial obligations, while almost two-thirds of the country is actively in debt.
“Many people feel as though their success and worth are measured by
being employed, while money can bring security and reduce anxiety”
Gerard Barnes, chief executive of Smart TMS
Gerard Barnes, chief executive of Smart TMS, said many people feel as though their success and worth are measured by being employed, while money can bring security and reduce anxiety.
“It’s normal to feel angry, to grieve, and to be anxious about what the future holds. However, there are a range of things you can do to best prepare yourself in the event that you lose your job, or to cope and safeguard your mental health in the event that you have already been let go,” he stated.
Tips include keeping up to date with the government’s Coronavirus aid measures, thinking of a job loss as a temporary setback, opening up to loved ones and seeking mental health support from charities such as Mind, Samaritans and SANE.