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Impact of Unemployment on Mental Health During the Covid-19 Pandemic

The World Health Organization categorized Covid-19 as a pandemic on March 11th, 2020 as it has affected the aspects of human life worldwide. The number of infected people and the mortality rate in some countries were rising fast. Countries that have been affected by the pandemic have forced the government to implement strict restrictions that impact people’s lives. Restaurants, Malls, Hotels, and other non-essential venues were forced to close. Only the essential shops were exempted such as groceries, pharmacies and other essential companies remained open. This resulted in a lot of people becoming unemployed and in turn, developing mental health problems.

The surge in unemployment is one of the factors in the findings that financial stresses, lack of social support, and job loss are the leading contributors to substance abuse, suicide, and other mental health issues. The course of the pandemic was uncertain and the concern for financial instability that stems from the lockdown orders led to mental health problems. The fear inflicted by the Covid-19 virus has contributed to generalized anxiety and panic. Stay-at-home lockdown orders and social distancing measures also factored in mental health problems because social connections and satisfaction with life are a facet of daily existence. It also raised concerns that post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms could persist even after the pandemic has been resolved. People who stayed in quarantine facilities have also shown symptoms of PTSD and depression.

The unemployment rates triggered by Covid-19 posed a significant threat to mental health. The economic forecasts showed that the market recovery in countries deeply affected by the Covid-19 virus will take a long time. Many of the people who are unemployed due to the pandemic suffered prolonged unemployment. Chronic stressors such as prolonged unemployment have the most negative impact on people’s mental health. Unemployment is associated with financial strain, thus can effectively decline one’s self-esteem, and is known to have a severe impact on families and individuals. This unemployment crisis posed a great threat to the mental health of the people and is still in urgent need of a solution.



Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(19), 7163;

Journal of Health and Social Behavior Vol. 30, No. 3 (Sep., 1989), pp. 241-256 (16 pages) Published By: American Sociological Association

López del Amo González, M.P., Benítez, V. & Martín-Martín, J.J. Long term unemployment, income, poverty, and social public expenditure, and their relationship with self-perceived health in Spain (2007–2011). BMC Public Health 18, 133 (2018).

Front Psychol. 2021; 12: 576301. Published online 2021 Feb 12. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.576301


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