One of the things that’s been playing on my mind this past while is: How will this recession affect people’s mental health in years to come?
The reason I’ve been pondering this notion is that, most people I know who are in full time employment, have had to take between 15% – 25% pay cuts and are working about 30% – 50% more hours per week.
Basically, they are having to do the jobs of the people who have been made redundant, (as well as their own), for less money.
I’m not having a pop at employers. I know a lot of businesses are in a very difficult situation: Trying to be more competitive; trying to hold on to staff; trying to stay afloat etc…
Some may say they are lucky to be in a job. But if these people are doing one and a half jobs then there is going to be a physical and mental consequence to this at some point in the future.
Longer hours, less money, the stress of potential redundancy. It is, and will continue, taking its toll on marriages and parents’ relationships with their kids.
Will we see an increase in the rate of divorce?
How many children will lose one of their parents to the recession?
More cases of depression?
Will suicide be more prevalent?
More people undertaking psychotherapy?
More people on medication?
And, most importantly for the government, who will pay for it?
Because someone will have to. Have they budgeted for it? Has it even crossed their minds?
Perhaps it has. Perhaps it’s all part of a ‘separating the wheat from the chaff’ policy.
It might even take 10 years before people’s ruined lives show up on a statistician’s spike.
But rest assured, there will be a price to be paid, and it won’t necessarily be fiscal.