the recession: a UK wide insight into the effects of the downturn
on the UK’s mental health
Research published in April 2010
The Policy and Research team commissioned Roehampton
University to carry out a study looking at the link between mental
health and the recession. The results highlighted a staggering rise
in mental health conditions among UK workers,
directly related to worries related to the UK's current
Some 53% of people have experienced symptoms such as anxiety,
stress and/or depression during the recession -
that's four-to-five times higher than the levels recorded
among the general population before the onset of the recession.
Why does this matter?
Depression and anxiety, if untreated, can go hand-in-hand
with joblessness, pushing many people needlessly into poverty. Poor
mental health can also lead to poor physical health, with
stress, anxiety and depression over time increasing the risk of
health conditions such as diabetes, cancer and cardio-vascular
Given that this study points to an increase in the prevalence of
poor mental health, it is vital that the necessary support is
available to help people to carry on working who are
experiencing health problems as a result of financial
The way forward
Primary care services, such as GP surgeries, are likely
deal with more people experiencing mental health problems such
as anxiety and depression. Faced by intense pressure to reduce
costs, the challenge for primary care trusts will be to determine
what services to provide.
As a result of this research, Elizabeth Finn Care calls
- A commitment by the Government and NHS trusts to
providing mental health services as a clinical priority, with
a particular focus on ‘talking therapies'
- The expansion of GP knowledge around mental health
- Public sector commitment to leading by example in protecting
the mental health of its workers.
(PDF file size 156kb)
For more information, please contact: Emma Lamberton at email:
Last updated: 1 May 2013