Businessweek Archives

Foreclosures and mental health


In case you missed it … the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine put out this press release last week:

PHILADELPHIA – The nation’s home foreclosure epidemic may be taking its toll on Americans’ health as well as their wallets. Nearly half of people studied while undergoing foreclosure reported depressive symptoms, and 37 percent met screening criteria for major depression, according to new University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine research published online this week in the American Journal of Public Health. Many also reported an inability to afford prescription drugs, and skipping meals. The authors say their findings should serve as a call for policy makers to tie health interventions into their response to the nation’s ongoing housing crisis.

“The foreclosure crisis is also a health crisis,” says lead author Craig E. Pollack, MD, MHS, who conducted the research while working as an internist and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar at Penn. “We need to do more to ensure that if people lose their homes, they don’t also lose their health.”

For the full press release, click here.

Just a guess here, but I’d bet that foreclosure isn’t always the worst thing for mental health. For some people, it could even be a safety valve. Sometimes, the most stressful thing is to try to stave off foreclosure by making huge sacrifices to hang onto a house that’s unaffordable.

(Sorry for being late with this. Vacations have hit the Hot Property staff pretty hard lately.)


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