Psychological problems increasing for German jobless

Health expert for the Social Democrats (SPD) Karl Lauterbach has called for health insurance companies to “rethink” their policies for the unemployed, for whom psychological problems are on the rise.

There must be “focused, active health offers for the unemployed” comparable to programs in Scandanavia, Lauterbach told German daily Frankfurter Rundschau on Tuesday.

“Insurance companies do a lot for the employed, but little for those who have lost their jobs,” he continued.

The paper cited a new study from insurance company Gmünder Ersatzkasse which reports that psychological illness for the unemployed has gone up 37 percent since 1992.

In 2007, hospital treatment days for the unemployed with psychological problems were double that of days spent in treatment by the employed, the study said.