I recently ran across a story about a suicide job seeker. Unfortunately, I didn’t even realize there was such a thing.
The article explained how a 20-year-old job seeker, Martin Hadfield, killed himself after being unemployed for months after losing a gardening job.
An inquest heard how despite being unemployed for months [Martin] was too proud to accept state handouts. Just 24 hours after a JobCentre appointment he was found dead in his flat in Tottington, Greater Manchester.
This instance was certainly a tragedy. And it led me to wonder how many other people may be deeply affected—emotionally and mentally—by long-term unemployment.
The Prince’s Trust, a UK-based youth charity, released a report entitled, 2014 Youth Index, detailing the negative health effects of long-term unemployment on youth.
“At the heart of this report is a clear message to government, health agencies and employers: long-term unemployed young people are in desperate need of support,” writes the charity’s Executive Director, Martina Milburn CBE.
According to the report:
- 40 percent of jobless young people say they have faced symptoms of mental illness – including suicidal thoughts, feelings of self-loathing and panic attacks – as a direct result of unemployment.
- Around one in 10 young people (nine per cent) people believe they have nothing to live for, which increases to more than one in five (21 percent) among the long-term unemployed.
- One in 10 young people (11 per cent) have been prescribed anti-depressants. This more than doubles to 25 percent among those unemployed for six months or more.
- One in three long-term unemployed young people (32 percent) have felt suicidal, compared to 26 percent of their peers.
- One in four long-term unemployed young people (24 percent) have self-harmed. This compares to one in five (19 percent) of their peers.
And we all know that the correlation between depression and long-term unemployment doesn’t stop in the U.K or with the youth. PBS recently published heart-breaking stories from many Americans who have been affected not only by long-term unemployment, but also by the cutbacks in unemployment benefits.
Just read the following story from Anthony, 46, of Aurora, Colo.:
I have been working and paying taxes since I was 14. I am now 46, and have been laid off of my job. The job market has been tough, and the employers seem to be looking for younger people to employ. I have always worked, and this is embarrassing to me to have to depend on my government for help. Now that I am in need, they have let me down.
I would be homeless if not for my sister-in-law. I am staying in her basement, but have no funds for anything. I have sold all my belongings just to be able to afford to eat, and help with some of the bills. I’m at a loss for words.
And readers shared many similar stories in the comments section of this article.
Although I haven’t been unemployed for extremely long periods of time or have needed to rely on unemployment insurance, I certainly understand the mental toll the job search can take on someone. I also have family members who have been unemployed for long terms and must depend on unemployment insurance. It’s not an easy situation.
On Recruiter.com, we always like to offer some kind of advice or tip for job seekers; this time I simply want to offer three words: hang in there.
Yes, the job search is tough and it becomes taxing as you scramble to make ends meet but hang in there.
Keep pressing and work to find one positive thing in every situation. Oftentimes, changing our perspectives changes our feelings, and finding the good in any negative situation will surely produce a much happier and healthier person.
In The 7 Timeless Habits of Happiness, Henrik Edberg writes, “If you see the world and yourself through a lens smudged by negativity then you’ll find much misery. If you look outwards and inwards through lens brightened by positivity you’ll find much to be happy and appreciative about.”
Keep applying; keep finding ways to sharpen and/or increase your skills and make yourself marketable; keep believing; and keep positively affirming your job search success. Hang in there because, many times, the moment that we want to give up—whether the physical job search or allowing depression to take over—is the moment right before our breakthrough.
Hang in there!