Saturday, 11 October 2008

Hidden costs of the crisis

. The BBC carries news of a grim warning from mental health charity, Rethink. It rates house repossession as being above news of infertility and even redundancy as being the event most likely to cause mental health problems. When you think about this it has some logical coloration as home is a personal; supposedly secure space and taking that away is obviously likely to cause extreme distress.

Rethink's director of public affairs Paul Corry told the BBC:

"I wouldn't be surprised if we see a rise in the number of people going to their doctor because of mental health problems in the coming months.

"Even for people lucky enough to hang on to their home, the stress and worry of arrears building up can be enough to harm your mental health - this survey shows it worries millions of us."

Another mental health charity, Mind , has released it own report on the impact of economic negativity on mental health. It says that a "substantial amount of evidence has shown an association between socioeconomic status and mental health problems." Comments that return us to the debate over whether lower class people really are just lazy and feckless or whether they are genuinely trapped in a spiral of monetary and emotional as well as fiscal distress.

Obviously this is only going to get worse as the financial crisis continues to deepen. The question will be what kind of emphasis will be put on helping these people with governments seemingly incapable of focusing on anything other than the well-being of the banking system.

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