Our 24-hour lifestyle is playing havoc with the 20 and 30-somethings who are beginning to buckle under the strain of the work hard, play hard philosophy.

A new study suggests that high-stress jobs make young workers twice as likely to suffer from major depression and anxiety disorders.

Psychiatrists found that one in 20 people in the early stages of their careers can expect to experience serious depression or anxiety every year as a direct result of work. It is the first study to draw a clear line between stressful working conditions and poor mental health among people with no previous history of mental ill-health.

It follows previous studies across Europe and the US that show cases of depression have risen in the past two decades.

The most stressful jobs listed are: head chefs in large restaurants; schoolteachers; slaughterers; construction workers; and senior managerial positions.

Those opting for a more stress-free career should consider becoming postal workers, librarians, hairdressers, legal or accounts administrators, or speech therapists.

Mind, the leading mental health charity, has urged all employers to take such stress-related isssues more seriously and adopt a proactive approach to tackling problems in the workplace.

In response to a recent CIPD report, the charity stated that good mental health should be everybody’s business but too often employees suffer in silence or are eased out of the company altogether.

Mind has issued guidelines for all businesses and organisations to promote good mental health in the workplace, which include:

  • raising awareness, encouraging understanding and promoting openness in relation to mental health in the workplace;
  • adopting and adhering to formal policies on stress and mental health in the workplace and committing to addressing both issues;
  • allowing employees to make reasonable adjustments to their working life – for example by offering flexi-time hours, working from home or quiet rooms to help them to manage mental health problems and work related stress issues;
  • and offering resources or procedures to help manage stress at work and generally improve mental wellbeing, for example, stress awareness training, access to counselling or stress busting initiatives.

And just when you thought the very belated arrival of summer weather was a cause for celebration, a separate study has found there is an increased risk of suicide during hot weather.

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