Job losses can lead to anxiety and depression
With thousands of Australians losing their jobs as cost-cutting across the board starts to kick in to both the government and private sectors due to the global economic slowdown and the high Australian dollar, thousands of people could be at risk of developing depression or anxiety.
beyondblue CEO Kate Carnell AO said: “This is why beyondblue has published a free booklet Taking care of yourself after retrenchment or financial loss to help people to manage and cope with a change in their circumstances.
“Loss of employment, especially for the family breadwinner can be devastating and demoralising. Regardless of the circumstances, distress is a common and natural response to unexpected events that involve significant loss and change. This distress, if not managed properly, can become a major risk factor for depression.
“During this time of belt-tightening, especially in the government, manufacturing, media and retail sectors, people may feel their life is unravelling,” she said.
The booklet aims to support people through this difficult period by giving tips and advice about:
accessing benefits from Centrelink and insurance policies
managing redundancy payouts and living expenses
realising when ongoing distress develops into depression or an anxiety disorder.
“If this is the case, help is available and effective treatments can vastly improve your mood, the way you see yourself and your future. Finding a job after a retrenchment can be difficult enough, but if the person has depression, the task becomes even more difficult,” Ms Carnell said.
“With so much to worry about after retrenchment, people often neglect their health. This is a time of high vulnerability when you need to look after your physical and mental health and access the support you need.
"Adapting to adversity and change can be difficult. There’s no shame in asking for help – everyone needs a helping hand occasionally. If you are feeling depressed or anxious, see your doctor, treatments that work are available.
“Even thrifty, diligent and cautious people have been dealt a financial blow beyond their control. Try not to carry the load by yourself, there is help and support you can access in your community,” Ms Carnell said.
The FREE booklet can be downloaded or ordered via the beyondblue website www.beyondblue.org.au - or by calling the beyondblue info line 1300 22 4636