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Expert discusses falling employment’s effect on mental health

SpriggDr Christine Sprigg, lecturer and chartered psychologist from the Institute of Work Psychology (IWP) at Sheffield University Management School, was asked to comment on dropping unemployment and its effect on mental health by the British Psychological Society.

Commenting on recent news that unemployment figures are falling, Dr Sprigg (pictured left) said: “In general, the weight of research evidence suggests that in mental health terms at least, it is better to be employed than unemployed. Employment not only provides monetary benefits but vital social and relational experiences – as well as a structure and a meaning to a person’s day. This is not to say you need a ‘paid job’ to garner these health benefits.”

However, research suggests that there is a loophole whereby this is not necessarily the case. Dr Sprigg continued: “Some research has indicated that ‘poor quality’ jobs may not provide the same mental health buffers. So it always important to provide as rich a form of work as possible for people – given the basic constraints of the nature of any job.”

She referenced seminal work by current and previous colleagues at Sheffield, Professor Peter Warr and Professor Paul Jackson.

Read the full story on the British Psychological Society’s website: www.bps.org.uk/news/falling-unemployment-may-boost-health

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