Unemployment, Behavioral Health, and Suicide
June 17, 2022
A recent health policy brief calls for increased efforts to understand and address the links between unemployment and suicide, especially in light of pandemic-related job loss. The authors discuss existing research on the topic and its implications for reducing the mental health effects of unemployment during COVID-19. They suggest unemployment and suicide risk may disproportionately impact certain groups, such as Black and Hispanic populations and women, as well as those who are out of work longer. To reduce the effects of job loss on suicide risk, the authors recommend public policies such as unemployment and nutrition assistance programs, in addition to child care supports and child tax credits for families. They also note the critical importance of health insurance for all workers and those who are unemployed, access to evidence-based clinical interventions, and the exploration of suicide prevention approaches tailored for those experiencing job loss.
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