Coping With Economic and Mental Depression

January 28, 2009 12:03:27 AM PST
The unemployment office is not a place to find happy people these days. With the local unemployment rate over 13 per cent there are a lot of people looking for the few jobs out there."You know at this particular time the market is saturated with people looking for work, so, there's not a whole lot of things to go after at this particular point in time." Says Steven Guiterrez of the state Employment Development Department.

One who knows that is Ray Walker. He's from Prather. He lost his job as a truck driver because his car broke down and he couldn't get to work. He's been looking for about a month.

"It's just, It's bad, it's a bad time right now for everybody." He says.

Ray's big concern now is taking care of his two boys.

"It's my job to provide for my family. And, that's all I have to say."

Ray's situation is all too common. Fresno Therapist Garry Bredefeld says the loss of a job can be seen as among the biggest setbacks in life.

"One's self esteem, one's identity is associated with a job, and when one loses that job they feel like they've lost everything, which is simply not true." Bredefeld said.

Bredefeld adds, the economic downturn is affecting many of his patients, who are working. "They're very stressed. There's a lot of depression. There is uncertainty. When you see every day on the news that tens of thousands of people are losing their jobs, people get very scared."

Bredefeld urges those who are out of work not to give up, and to rely on others for emotional support.

"The best that people can do is continue to talk about their concerns their worries. Share them, don't isolate yourself. There's a lot of people feeling the same way. And when you know there are other people to share that with you feel less lonely, and less isolated."

Ray Walker says he's getting help from his parents. And the motivation to keep going from his kids.

"I'm worried about them. You know. I need to find a job pretty much wherever I can."

Bredefeld understands many who are out of work no longer have health insurance and may not be able to afford counseling. He says County Mental Health agencies have programs available, although those departments are facing cutbacks and layoffs as well. Many churches and faith based organizations are offering counseling and other assistance for those out of work.

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