Program for unemployed rejuvenates hope

March 2, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
A study by the Brookings Institute found that long term unemployment can have a devastating effect on a person's mental health.

57 percent of those in the study suffered from depression, anxiety and struggled with loss of identity.

The feeling of hopelessness that can result from long term unemployment 42-year-old Carmen Miranda says it can take an emotional toll.

Miranda said, "you get the discouraging no's, the silent no's before you know it you start doubting yourself, you start to attribute it to yourself worth."

Counselor Mickie Valentine knows exactly what Miranda is going through she has been there, job loss, a difficult divorce realizing she had to start over.

Valentine said, "I went back to school got my bachelors got my masters and that was all at the age of 50?and so?were there some challenges yes, were there some hardships yes, where there some discouraging days yes. But I just kept dreaming again."

Having a dream and pursuing that dream is a message Valentine takes to groups all over the area including Central Valley professionals a job club for the unemployed.

Through her dream again workshops, Valentine tells participants to look at the challenges in life, in this case job loss as a period of transition

"I see people who want to change their life's that have gone through some difficult moments that are transitioning into their next place and are looking for answers, looking for resources, looking for someone to say you are still that champion you can still succeed," Valentine said.

Valentine's message of hope and renewal had an impact on Miranda who lost her corporate job in 2008. She has since gone back to college and earned a master's degree.

"What has happen is basically a transition time. It's something that's going to define me and help propel me to the next level or the next career opportunity that I'm looking for and I have to embrace that change," she said.

For Miranda the workshop inspired her to revive her dream, a business plan she had put on hold.

Valentine said, "you have to do everything to stick to your dream be determined, be committed to make it happen. This is your moment don't miss it."

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