Long terms worklessness can actually do more harm than good to your mental and physical wellbeing. pic: pexels.com

Long terms worklessness can lead down a slippery slope to mental disability and further health and wellbeing complications, said Psychiatrist Dr. Christoffel Grobler.

Grobler - who heads up the clinical unit at the Elizabeth Donkin Psychiatric Hospital and Rehabilitation Centre in Port Elizabeth - was speaking at a corporate mental health awareness day held by the University of Stellenbosch Business School.

He quoted a range of statistics over the years - including the American Medical Association's Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment.

Here’s a brief look at some of these statistical facts:

50% of people out of work for eight weeks will not return to work.

About 85% of people out of work for 6 months or more will never return to work on a sustained basis

The effects of loss of work can include poverty, social isolation, poor physical and mental health, and increased mortality.

Deterioration in physical health where there is an increase in somatic complaints leading to increased medical consultation, increased medication use, hospital admission.

Returning to work after extended sick or stress leave can leave you feeling “behind” and incompetent in the workplace, leading to a drop in self image and identity crisis. 

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