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Employment insecurity strongly linked to depression amidst Covid-19: Study

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on November 12, 2020 Published on November 12, 2020

Even as the coronavirus pandemic does not affect young adults as severely as it does to the older population, the economic repercussions of the pandemic furthered by employment downturns have caused common symptoms of anxiety and depression in young adults.

A new study on coronavirus and its impact on the young generation established a strong link between employment insecurity in Covid-19 times and growing mental health issues in the United States.

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Young adults

According to the researchers, this trend is especially prevalent in young adults who expected an employment loss in the next four weeks.

Lead author Kyle T Ganson, Ph.D., MSW, assistant professor at the University of Toronto’s Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work said: “It is clear from this study that the Covid-19 pandemic has had wide-ranging effects on young adults.”

He added: “It is imperative that public policy address the economic downturns to ensure the employment security of young adults, which may subsequently address their mental health.”

The study found that since March 13, nearly 60 per cent of US young adults experienced direct or household employment loss, while nearly 40 per cent expected direct or household employment loss in the coming four weeks.

Career worries

Senior author Jason M Nagata, MD, MSc, a specialist in adolescent and young adult medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, said: “Young adults are especially affected by employment loss since they are just starting their careers. Internships have been cancelled and employment offers have been rescinded during the pandemic.”

The study further noted that symptoms of anxiety and depression were common among the sample of young adults.

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75 per cent of respondents reported being nervous, anxious or on edge, 68 per cent reported not being able to stop or control worrying, 67 per cent reported having little interest or pleasure in doing things, and 64 per cent reported feeling down, depressed, or hopeless.

“Policymakers need to consider the long-term scarring that may occur as a result of both employment losses and poor mental health. We need to ensure that health insurance policies adequately cover mental health services for young adults,” Ganson added.

The study was published online in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

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Published on November 12, 2020
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  1. Comments will be moderated by The Hindu Business Line editorial team.
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  3. Please write complete sentences. Do not type comments in all capital letters, or in all lower case letters, or using abbreviated text. (example: u cannot substitute for you, d is not 'the', n is not 'and').
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