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Economic recessions are weaker, expansions are stronger, and economic recovery is faster in U.S. states where people are more optimistic says a new study from the University of Miami School of Business Administration. Further, the effects are stronger in states where people are older, less educated and less socially connected. "Previous studies have shown that economic conditions affect mood – people would expect this, it's more obvious," said Alok Kumar, the Gabelli Asset Management Professor of Finance at the University of Miami School of Business and one of the study's researchers. "Our study is unique in that it shows, for the first time, that mood and optimism can directly affect overall economic activity."

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Mental Illness and Employment Discrimination

Abstract and Introduction
Abstract
Purpose of Review: Work is a major determinant of mental health and a socially integrating force. To be excluded from the workforce creates material deprivation, erodes self-confidence, creates a sense of isolation and marginalization and is a key risk factor for mental disability. This review summarizes recent evidence pertaining to employment-related stigma and discrimination experienced by people with mental disabilities. A broad understanding of the stigmatization process is adopted, which includes cognitive, attitudinal, behavioural and structural disadvantages.

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 Getting Through Uncertain Economic Times





An Online Guide to Cope With Recession-Related Stress; 

U.S.-supported site offers advice, referrals to help protect your health


WEDNESDAY, April 1 -- People struggling with emotional turmoil during these uncertain economic times can find help online through a new U.S. government-sponsored guide.


 "Getting Through Tough Economic Times" offers resources and referrals to help people cope with the recession's repercussions. The guide includes information on spotting signs of mental distress and contains links to agencies and organizations that can offer assistance.


Developed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the guide spells out the risks that unemployment and other forms of economic trouble -- such as foreclosure or severe financial loss -- can pose to your health. The guide, based on a review of scientific research for the last two decades, also explains that economic problems may affect people differently.

 



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'RECESSION DEPRESSION'


By BARRY MIDDLETON Guest Columnist

Published: Saturday, February 28, 2009 at 1:00 a.m.

As a mental health professional, I am seeing more and more patients who are suffering from what I call "recession depression."

There is no doubt that in recent weeks a new element has appeared in the mental health field. People are worried about the recession, losing value in homes and stocks and losing their jobs. The stress is new, but the tools needed to cope are not.

Acceptance of circumstances which are beyond our control, an organized wellness program, and positive thinking habits are still the best defense against depression.

Here are a few coping tips that will help:

  • Learn the basics of positive thinking or cognitive management. Our own thoughts are a powerful tool for calming and self-soothing.
  • Create a budget that allows you to spend less money than you earn. Get some help with this if necessary; don't tell yourself it can't be done.

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Women Vs. Men: Handling Economic Stress
Kiri Blakeley, 01.12.09, 5:30 PM ET
 

Last week's suicide of Chicago real estate auctions mogul Steven Good is the latest instance of what could be termed "econocide"--suicide due to the poor economy. While Good, who shot himself, did not leave a note indicating his motivation, his death comes a month after he made comments about the collapse of the real estate industry at a business conference.

Good's suicide follows that of Kirk Stephenson, a financier who jumped in front of a train in England after his private equity firm suffered losses; French financier Rene-Thierry Magnon de la Villehuchet, who slit his wrists after losing $1 billion in the Bernard Madoff scheme; and German billionaire Adolf Merckle, who threw himself in front of a train after massive investment losses.

These tragic figures had something in common besides economic hard times: They were all men.


In 2005, the latest statistics offered by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 25,907 men killed themselves, versus 6,730 women. A big part of this discrepancy is that men use much more successful methods of suicide. Each of the four moguls who took their lives did so in a decisive fashion. "Men take far more permanent measures," says Manhattan psychotherapist Jonathan Alpert, who counsels many Wall Streeters and their families. "Women might make gestures that are not as strong, that are more a cry for help or attention."

Last week's suicide of Chicago real estate auctions mogul Steven Good is the latest instance of what could be termed "econocide"--suicide due to the poor economy. 

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