Monday, August 29, 2011

Unemployment Takes Psychological Toll on Americans

The dismal economy of the past three years, and particularly long-term unemployment, are playing havoc with Americans' mental health, according to the August 17 Miami Herald. For example, about one-third of the 62,000 monthly calls to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's suicide-prevention hotlines are now related to economic distress.

Psychiatrists are also finding that the dire economy is eroding Americans' mental well-being. For instance, a Pittsburgh psychiatrist reported that the most stressed individuals are small-business owners who worry about their employees as well as their own welfare. A Michigan psychiatrist reported that he has several patients devastated by the recent dire straits of the automobile industry. And as a New York psychiatrist said, "If the economy continues to get worse before it gets better, and if more and more people are out of work, I suspect that we are going to see much more family discord and depression in addition to anxiety and maybe even an increase in the suicide rate."

To read more about the toll the recession is taking on Americans' mental health and how it is affecting psychiatric care, see Psychiatric News at and 

Information about stress and mental health in general can be found in the American Psychiatric Publishing book, Does Stress Cause Psychiatric Illness? See



The content of Psychiatric News does not necessarily reflect the views of APA or the editors. Unless so stated, neither Psychiatric News nor APA guarantees, warrants, or endorses information or advertising in this newspaper. Clinical opinions are not peer reviewed and thus should be independently verified.