Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Health News

Warning as redundancy Britons drinking more

Britons affected by redundancy are hitting the bottle, research out today suggests.

Almost four in 10 (39 per cent) said they had either been made redundant or knew somebody who had lost their job in the last six months.

Of this group, one in 10 said they were drinking more alcohol to help them cope with the stress, or said the person they knew was drinking more.

Of those, 49 per cent said they were consuming more alcohol during the day.

The survey, of 2,253 adults, was carried out for the charity Drinkaware.

More than two thirds (71 per cent) of people questioned said the increase in drinking was directly linked to redundancy and 61 per cent were worried about it.

Losing a job was also found to have negative effects on emotional wellbeing, with 55 per cent of those affected suffering mood swings, anxiety or boredom.

Chris Sorek, chief executive of Drinkaware, said: "The country is facing one of its worst recessions in history and redundancies are making daily headlines.

"Losing your job is recognised as one of the top 10 most stressful life events and many people are turning to alcohol as a coping mechanism.

"But alcohol is a depressant and can lead to further stress and anxiety, which can make the effects of redundancy much worse."

Drinkaware and careers coach John Lees have produced a free advice booklet: Made redundant? The practical guide to getting back into work and staying healthy.

It can be downloaded from drinkaware.co.uk and is also available from GP's surgeries, Jobcentre Plus and recruitment agencies.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Health said: "In the current economic downturn, the potential exists for more people to become anxious or depressed and experience lower levels of mental wellbeing.

"If someone is feeling down after losing their job, then the best solution is a new job and the Government is helping people to find them wherever possible.

"But in some cases, depression and anxiety can be a barrier to getting another job.

"No one should be left in any doubt about where to turn. That's why in March we announced an extra £13m to speed up the availability of talking therapies and ensure that people who need help can find it wherever they may be.

"The NHS as a whole will be better equipped to recognise these issues and refer people to appropriate treatment or support."