Low socioeconomic status may lead to poor mental health

A poor economy appears to hit lower income individuals much harder that the rich when it comes to mental health, according to a study that was published in the journal World Psychiatry.

A team of researchers conducted interviews among South Korean people and found that those with low incomes were significantly more likely to have depression and attempt or think about suicide.

The study participants were followed from 1998 to 2007, during which time the global economy took a dive. Authors of the study noted that rates of suicide doubled during this time, from 13 to 26 people out of every 100,000.

They also called the disparity between mental health of the wealthy and the poor a “pro-rich inequality.”

Results of the study suggest that low pay and a negative environment may have major detrimental effects on employees. Organizations should keep this in mind, and consider offering employee wellness programs to manage stress, especially for employees on the lower end of the company pay scale. Additionally, employers should offer comprehensive employee health benefits that include care for mental health.

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