Depression, Crisis, and Unemployment
Changing jobs and moving your residence are often cited as some of life’s most stressful events. If changing jobs is that stressful then sudden unemployment or a blind-sided lay-off is certainly off the stress-meter.
In mainstream news chatter there is a whole lot of daily headlines portending the worst, making comparisons between our current economic crisis and The Great Depression and giving the daily tally of highest unemployment rates in the country. Combine these fact-based stories with a few clever touchy-feely profiles of unemployed workers and you think you’ve got a handle on the problem.
But in all of that bag of journalism tricks remains buried the real SOS signal — the mental state of jobless individuals, and the universal mind-set of a country besieged by debt problems, personal banks waging war on last-credit-card-holders-standing, the pain associated with filling your car full of gas, and the mini-calamity of the weekly grocery store spend, unemployed or not.
We think it productive to reinvent tips for job searching, how-tos for resume renovation, blogs that offer pep talks for out of work professionals, and links to job fairs, job search engines, and basically knit together as quickly as possible the quick fixes for our bleeding brethren.
When will we begin to address the psychological fall-out from these out-of-a-job, can’t-provide-for-my-family, losing-my-house, going-broke, going-bankrupt, don’t-know-what-to-do road signs of DESPAIR?
Before Recession (BR) we were already a nation of anti-depression medicants. Now most of us can’t even afford to see a therapist IF we were to admit our daily mental states were as grim as a heap of dirty snow and our nightmares oddly akin to artist Edvard Munch’s The Scream.
Here then are the back-up resources for when you’re over the “job, schmob” or “celebrate! you’ve been laid-off” blog posts and you just need someone to talk to or a shoulder to lean on before you lose your mind:
Your Local Crisis Resources
Church – Your local church can provide a comfortable and non-threatening sanctuary where you can seek community, fellowship and support. It’s okay to turn to church during hard times. If your family’s church is uncomfortable, you’ll find any number of others – across denominations – more than welcoming to any and all individuals, no strings attached.
Community support groups have sprung up all over the country, many devoted specifically to the rising tide of unemployed workers.
- MeetUp.com is one of the best resources for locating various groups of people by region. Search for “unemployed groups” in your city.
- Use the resources of your town or city community center to locate any groups of unemployed or general fellowship and networking.
- Jewish Community Centers or Family Services are also excellent sources for like-minded community groups.
Free or Low-Cost Mental Health Counseling — If you’re out of work, without health insurance, and need counseling for depression or you’re about to hit crisis-mode, contact your state health department or walk into a free clinic. State health departments have counselors you can see on a sliding scale and free clinics are seeing everyone from prince to pauper, these days.
If you have health insurance your plan may include some mental health coverage, enough that you could squeeze a few visits with a social worker, counselor or clinical psychologist.