It has been found in several studies that unemployment increases mortality rates, besides physical and mental problems. According to one study, people who are employed feel that they contribute to society and have a higher sense of self-esteem.
The principal investigator for the study, M. Harvey Brenner, said, “When that is taken away, people become susceptible to depression, cardiovascular disease, AIDS and many other illnesses that increase mortality."
Stress from long-term unemployment could even be a factor in developing a mental illness, like obsessive compulsive disorder or severe depression, if the anxiety is harmful enough to the person. However, this is generally when a person is already pre-disposed to a mental illness. Also, the person could become unemployed because they developed a mental disorder and couldn't function properly, several articles suggested.
An interesting factor to consider is that those who have mental and physical problems to begin with are worse off than other people who are unemployed. In a study in London, it was found that “unemployment among people with long-term mental health problems increased from 80 percent in 1990 to 92 percent in 1999, and the unemployment rates among those with a diagnosis of schizophrenia increased from 88 percent in 1990 to 96 percent in 1999.”
Those with long-term mental problems also had an increased unemployment rate while there was a decreasing general unemployment rate.
Overall, there needs to be more help and awareness for those who are suffering physically and psychologically due to long-term unemployment. It needs to be understood that physical and mental problems are often linked, and many times ill mental health can lead to many physical problems. For people who are unemployed and suffering, it would be best to look at their mental health status first and try to help them cope so they can be more able to find a job eventually.
There also needs to be more help for those who have a mental illness to prepare for finding a job.