Economic conditions factored into depression figures

Worries over money and job security in the current uncertain economic environment could be fuelling a rise in depression in England, according to figures obtained by the BBC in April.

The figures found that prescriptions for anti-depressant drugs had risen by more than 40% over the last four years, with GPs and charities saying they were increasingly being contacted by people struggling with debt and job worries.

Financial woes, it has been argued, could often act as a “trigger” for depression, even if the main illness is caused by other factors in a person’s life.

Marjorie Wallace, chief executive of mental health charity SANE, said that it was impossible to say for sure that economic problems were leading to a rise in depression.

“But we are certainly hearing more from people who are worried where the next meal is coming from, job security and cuts in benefits – many who are getting in touch with us for the first time. It is a toxic combination, especially for those who already have darker thoughts and other problems,” she added.

XpertHR outlines the steps that employers can take to ensure they are equipped to manage mental ill health.

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