INVOLUNTARY JOB LOSS INFLUENCES MENTAL HEALTH IN MEN
One of the prime factors which decide how one lives their life is by their work. Most humans attach their identity to the work that they do on daily basis. From where they earn their money by monetizing their skill to produce something that acts as a benefactor to someone. Through this hard-earned money, they buy things to satisfy basic human needs and expand further to live the very comfortable, luxurious life they always dreamt of. While this is gender-neutral, but society across the world lives under the conditions of patriarchal conditions. Where men are looked at as primary and many times sole breadwinners for the home. This can be a burden on men as fathers, spouses, and brothers to earn and successfully help the family to safe, and happy.
Employment is a crucial factor in determining the health and behavior of health in adults. A research study in Ukraine conducted for a period of 10 years, and the analysis of data concludes that there can be a wide range of inferences from the involuntary job losses that are in link with the COVID-19 pandemic. This study was conducted by the University of Kent, revealing that involuntary job loss impacts the Body Mass Index (BMI) on men and affects their behaviors differentially in their life cycle. There is the prevalence of the young generation being obese or an increase in alcohol consumption with a reduction in physical activity right after their job loss through the closure of business or merger, going bankrupt, or privatization with mass lay-offs. Also, shows an increased intensity of nicotine consumption in middle-aged men. In another study, conducted by William T. Gallo et.al (2006), where they drew data from the US Health and Retirement Survey. Where they continuously measured the clinically relevant symptoms of depression. One of the main findings from the study was that there was on average decline in person's mental stability to a near increase in the risk of clinically defined symptoms of depression. The repeated loss of job exposed the person to more diminished effects of mental well-being. In 2008, the financial crisis and recession resulted in an increase in unemployment in several European countries. A study on this was conducted in Portugal, where many unemployed men and women, felt to be identity-less, with levels of stress and powerlessness, along with a lack of purpose and more disorder in their lives. Unemployment can also lead to more isolation, being insignificant in society, impacting changes over financial wellbeing, on consumption patterns which lead to being causes of diminishing both physiological and psychological stability in health.
In India, there are higher rates of unemployment. With over 1.5 million both from formal and informal sectors have lost jobs in August 2021. Data collected by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), there is a decrease in employment rates, falling from 399.38 million to 397.78 million in August. And in rural, the unemployment rate went up to 1.3 million. As the percentage points increased 1.5 from 8.3% to 9.78% in August. Before the pandemic last year, the labor force was the same as in March 2020 before the lockdown, affecting, the closure of firms and a shrinking in employment generation. While India is going through a tough cycle in the job market for the past few years. And future predictions say that the labor market might struggle for few months to come. The recovery of quality jobs is highly reliant on growth informal sectors.
Increasing unemployment rates might do no good to Indians economically or psychologically. And it is well evident that involuntary job losses affect mental health. So, there needs to be a comprehensive plan to restore the jobs in the market and to those already affected proper management of health which doesn’t compromise in their normal behavior and also can avoid other unhealthy behaviors to cope up with the loss of job. Making the job more gender-neutral by giving equal importance to women in the job sector and equal pay. Which can relieve men from being the sole breadwinner and making women equal contributors to the wellbeing of the home. So, even if one loses a job the other spouse or other persons in the family can manage the budget of household consumption for few months. Which can be a great relief to men as husbands, fathers, and siblings.