Mental Health Needs and Treatment of New Hampshire Unemployed

Michael Jarzombek (2010)

The intent of this research is to understand the types of mental health problems individuals encounter during periods of unemployment, and the severity of those problems from an individual, family and community-based perspective. Of primary importance is determining whether or not treatment services are utilized, and if so, the sensitivity exhibited by mental health providers to their clients' unemployment related concerns. Research findings suggest that unemployed individuals in New Hampshire do not participate in mental health treatment due to motivational difficulties and limited access to services. Surveys and interviews are used in a primarily qualitative study to develop a meaningful narrative describing the experience of unemployment from both client and clinician perspectives. Following a general review of unemployment conditions during 2008, 2009 and into 2010, this study then highlights a broad range of harmful mental and physical health concerns that develop during periods of job loss including anger, depression, heightened risk of cardio vascular disease substance abuse and addiction problems, as well as marital and family system breakdowns. These problems profoundly impact the individual, the family and the community. Negative psychological effects of unemployment and access to mental health treatment services form one broad area of inquiry, while provider sensitivity to a client's primarily unemployment related concerns and evaluation of treatment form a second area of focus.