How does unemployment affect mental health?

March 31, 2022 440 views 0 comment 2 minutes reading time
How does unemployment affect mental health?

A staggering 50% of African graduates do not find work each year, with South Africa, Nigeria and Namibia leading with the highest rates of unemployment in the world for graduates and non-graduates (Nigeria alone has about 25 million unemployed graduates). Today we look at the psychological ramifications of one of the continent’s great big challenges: how does unemployment affect mental health?

Experts say the Covid-19 epidemic, which has threatened nearly 20 million jobs, has created the perfect storm of mental health illnesses. Along with unemployment and job loss, people have had to grapple with the social isolation of the pandemic as detailed in the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) report on Mental Health and COVID-19.

We posed your questions to Bharti Patel, National Executive Director of the South African Federation for Mental Health, and Dr Dixon Chibanda, Director of the African Mental Health Research Initiative (AMARI) and CEO of the Friendship Bench program:

How does unemployment affect mental health?

Why is unemployment so isolating?

Did Covid-19 exacerbate mental health issues?

Self-care strategies for dealing with unemployment?

Is there an African approach to mental health care?

Watch the full debate below:

Have you seen or experienced the effects of unemployment on mental health? Share your story below.