Thursday, June 8, 2023

Greek Financial Crisis Negatively Impacting Mental Health of Greek Citizens

The Greek financial crisis has not only impacted the economy like some want to think, because a survey is reporting that the people in Greece are suffering mentally as a result as well. A telephone interview was conducted by Greek Public Opinion for the National School of Public Health earlier this month, and it asked about health care as it related to the economic crisis in Greece.

Greek Financial Crisis Impact on Health

The Greek Public Opinion for the National School of Public Health survey found that 44 percent of all Greek citizens were going through various negative emotions as a result of the economic crisis. These negative emotions included agony, fear, despair, stress, insecurity, and anxiety. The survey also showed that people who were lower income were suffering the most with depression-linked symptoms and illness. Within the last five years there has been a surge in the number of people entering psychiatric hospitals due to there being an increase in psychological conditions linked to the Greek financial crisis.

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Some of the most common issues for people in terms of the Greek financial crisis is that it is causing more people to become dependent on drugs or alcohol to cope. Substance abuse has definitely increased since the Greek financial crisis began, and this is also leading to more people suffering from these psychological conditions such as depression and anxiety. Another issue is that there is more of a hardship among the citizens to find private clinis and institutes, meaning they do not have the money to visit these places and that leads them to the public institutes. This is also a problem because there has been a reduction in the staff available at these public institutes due to cuts in funding, and overall cuts are happening in the mental health services departments.

In fact, due to the Greek financial crisis, the cuts have been so deep to the public institutes that many of them are unable to cope with the huge increases in patients coming in with various mental conditions. It is estimated that around 27.9 percent of the citizens in Greece could not find any work between 2009 and 2014. This number comes from the Statistical Office of the European Union and it shows just how many people are without work since the Greek financial crisis. Even when work is available to people in Greece, it might be there today and gone tomorrow, as many shops are closing up without much notice and workers are still being laid off at high rates.

Even worse is that for September, there was a 38.15 percent employment rate, with part-time work rising some being up by 15.46 percentage points. Shift work also added a little bit in the jobs department going up by 7.71 percentage points. Basically this means that people are being forced into part-time work because many cannot find full-time jobs out there. Obviously this also means people are earning less wages because they are working fewer hours and it is compounding the stress already involved in the financial crisis and leading to more people to feel overwhelmed and anxious or depressed.

Around 33 percent of Greeks say that they cannot pay their bills and 25 percent have not looked for medical treatment for their illnesses due to the financial crisis and stress over household money concerns. The themes that are seen most right now include higher depression rates which have been tied to a loss of income or loss of a job. There is also a lower quality of life due to the Greek financial crisis, which is leading more people to turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with their fears and anxiety. To add to that, in these financial situations, people often feel helpless and hopeless, as they believe it will never end. That never-ending state of mind is also causing more people in Greece to feel like drinking or drugs or suicide is the only way out as they see it will never get better.

Jeanne Rose
Jeanne Rose lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, and has been a freelance writer since 2010. She took Allied Health in vocational school where she earned her CNA/PCA, and worked in a hospital for 3 years. Jeanne enjoys writing about science, health, politics, business, and other topics as well.


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