If you want to have good mental health, it’s not enough to just have a job; you should also have a job that satisfies you, recent research has found.
“People need good quality work to gain and maintain better wellbeing,” said Dr Liana Leach at The Australian National University’s Centre for Mental Health Research.
Employers need to strive to provide good quality work environments, which are associated with good workplace support, job security and realistic work demands, according to Leach, who led the research.
Employment isn’t always linked to better mental health, and the research found that people who moved from unemployment into poor quality jobs were much more likely to be depressed than those who were still unemployed.
“Our work found that people in poor quality jobs – jobs which were insecure, did not provide future job prospects or had high levels of strain – had no better mental health than people who were unemployed,” said Leach.
“In fact, the research showed that people who moved from being unemployed into poor quality jobs were significantly more likely to be depressed at follow-up than those people who remained unemployed.”
People who are employed generally have better mental health than those who are unemployed, and the research indicated that employers may need to be more aware of the roles they ask staff to perform.
“As a result of previous research there has been a focus on workforce participation as a means of improving people’s wellbeing – the idea being that if people get a job, their socio-economic, health and personal circumstances will improve,” said Leach.