From the beginning of the recession until 2010 the unemployment rate for those with mental health problems rose from 12.7% to 18.2%, which is twice as much as for other people.
The study found that men and those with lower levels of education were the most affected.
The project was named the Eurobarometer survey, which looks at mental health and attitudes towards people with mental health in relation to the current employment rate. Data was collected from 20,000 people across 27 EU countries.
Results showed that negative attitudes towards those with mental health problems could be a factor in rising levels of unemployment across Europe.
Researchers from King’s College London wrote: “Living in a country where a higher proportion of individuals believe that individuals with mental illness are dangerous was associated with a higher likelihood of unemployment for people with mental health problems, but did not influence employment rates for those without mental health problems.”
Unemployment and financial hardship can increase feelings of social exclusion experienced by vulnerable people. It is also thought that people with mental health problems may be less likely to seek help for their financial problems.
Professor Graham Thornicroft believes there are steps governments can take to prevent this from happening.
He said employers need to be aware of their legal duty to comply with the Equality Act to support any employees or future employees with mental health problems.
Financial problems and job loss can be particularly difficult for those prone to depression and suicidal thoughts. It is important to always seek help if needed. To find out how a counsellor can help you deal with these problems, please visit our Types of Distress page.
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