Addressing a Structural Cause of Mental Disorders with an Economic Policy Reform

Lea Marlen Weber, Maurice Höfgen


This paper contributes to the etiology of several mental disorders by taking into consideration the social and personal influence the economy has on each individual. Within the neoliberal paradigm, involuntary unemployment is used as a policy tool to achieve price stability. Hence, permanent existence of involuntary unemployment is inherent to neoliberal economic policy. While research suggests a strong negative impact of involuntary unemployment on mental health, this paper argues that unemployment within the neoliberal paradigm in many ways even worsens the anyhow negative impact. In light of the destructive forces of involuntary unemployment combined with an individualistic zeitgeist as well as in light of the benefits associated with continuous access to meaningful employment, this paper suggests the implementation of a Job-Guarantee as a means to address a structural cause of mental disorders, particularly depression and anxiety.

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