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A P45 can be as dangerous as a gun

The MHF has added its voice to the growing concern around the impact the current recession might have on health. 'A P45 is not a gun but it can be just as lethal,' says MHF president Dr Ian Banks.

Frank AthertonWith no sign of the bottom of this latest downturn and with many families stretched in ways we have not seen in previous recessions, many are concerned that the health impact is being overlooked in the frantic fiddling with the economy. On this website Frank Atherton, right, calls for greater focus on prevention.

Ian Banks Welcoming the call from the president of the Association of Directors of Public Health, Dr Banks, left, says: 'The recession will not only impact on the economy it will also have serious implications for the health of the nation. Unemployment carries its own health warning.'

Suicide risk 'tripled'

Research from New Zealand into the impact of the 1990s downturn suggests unemployment triples the suicide risk while a study of recessions across the twentieth century published in the British Journal of Psychiatry suggests that the young are at particular risk.

'Mental health and well being is particularly in danger especially for men who tend to identify more with the workplace not least for friendship,' said Dr Banks.

'Paradoxically all the occupational health services are out of reach. Job centres tend to focus very much on the man as potential workforce but with increasing unemployment, especially long term, they need also to address men's health.

'A P45 is not a gun but it can be just as lethal.'

Page created on January 14th, 2009

Page updated on December 1st, 2009