In What Ways Does Insecure Work Impact Our Mental Health

In What Ways Does Insecure Work Impact Our Mental Health

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Mental health issues have been a huge point of discussion over the last few years. As our lives get increasingly stressful, complex, and hectic, many people have been dealing with poor mental health. It can strike anyone, no matter what their situation or status. As a society, we definitely need to become more aware of how to identify mental health issues in ourselves and others.  If you want to learn more about mental health as an introduction to working in the field, or simply to help out a friend or relative, then there are plenty of mental health courses online that you can explore.

Research has shown that working in a part-time or temporary job can have an impact on our mental health

Recently, there have been a few studies to show that holding a part-time or temporary job can potentially have a negative impact on our mental health. This research has been conducted by the Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) and Business in the Community. The results show that younger employees in particular who are working in unstable jobs are 29% more likely to suffer from poor mental health and wellbeing. This is when compared to someone from a similar age range who is more secure and comfortable in a permanent job.

The report also showed that 22% of recent graduates (which is about one in five) suffer from anxiety or depression if they are working in a job that they’re overqualified for. This is when compared to 16% of those graduates who are working in professional jobs that their qualifications are better suited for.

This generation of young graduates are more likely to have to endure insecure work compared to previous generations, due to the often fluctuating and unpredictable job market

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How does insecure work impact our mental health?

There could be a number of reasons why working in an insecure job can have a negative impact on our mental health:

  • These types of jobs usually offer lower pay: The stress of having to endure financial struggles can be a key reason why part-time or temporary work can bring younger workers down. If it is a part-time job, they may be struggling to meet their rent or pay their bills. If it is a temporary job, there is the additional stress of not knowing whether your contract will be renewed. You have the constant uncertainty of not knowing whether you’ll be able to find permanent work to pay your bills on an ongoing basis.
  • If workers feel overqualified for a job, this can lead to insecurity: This is especially true for graduates who have worked hard for their degree. If it hasn’t landed them a good job, they may feel that their university education has proved useless in securing them a better job than non-graduates.

How can we help overcome this issue?

It is important for employers to become more aware of mental health issues in the workplace. There are plenty of introductory mental health courses that can teach employers more about understanding the issue better. If employers have an improved understanding, they may be able to introduce certain practices that can improve employee wellbeing in the workplace. For instance, regular one-on-one meetings with a manager offers employees the chance to discuss any issues. Also, they should have training and promotional opportunities available for those who are overqualified for their positions.

Open communication about financial struggles is also key to helping alleviate stress about this matter. This doesn’t need to be with your employer, but with a friend or relative who may be able to help out or provide some advice on the matter.

Honest communication and seeking out help by talking about the problem is definitely the most important step in helping to resolve your mental health issues. It’s not an easy thing to do as those who are suffering from poor mental health may not even realise it. They could also potentially feel ashamed to talk about it. The more that we as a society bring these issues to light, the more people suffering from these problems will feel comfortable in being able to talk about it.

If you’re interested in understanding more about mental health, then consider looking into one of the various mental health courses online.

Nick Cooper
Nick is NCC's resident blog author and covers a range of subjects, including teaching and health & social care. NCC is an international learning provider with over 20 years’ experience offering learning solutions. To date, NCC has engaged with over 20,000 employers, and delivered quality training to over half a million learners.
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