The economic recession with its accompanying rise in unemployment rates is linked to extremely adverse effects for men’s mental health. This research report Facing the Challenge – The Impact of the Recession and Unemployment on Men’s Health in Ireland identifies a strong expectation of increased mental health problems for men given the very strong correlation between unemployment and male mental ill health.
The report is the result of a research and consultation process carried out, in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, by Nexus Research Co-operative on behalf of IPH. 93% of frontline organisations, North and South, in contact with unemployed men linked health challenges to unemployment and recession and all organisations surveyed noted adverse health challenges for men they work with. In addition to health challenges being higher for unemployed men, they were also very high for men who saw themselves as being threatened with unemployment.
The organisations surveyed and the men who were interviewed identified the challenges to health as:
• High levels of stress or anxiety
• Dependency on or over-use of alcohol/other drugs
• Deterioration in physical health
• Development of conflict in family or close personal relationships
• Isolation (including sharing or communicating problems)
• A reluctance to approach services or seek help