Unemployment and economic depressions are associated with increased rates of suicide and suicide attempts.
In fact, a Center for Disease Control study from 2011 discovered that suicide rates rise and fall with the economy. “Knowing suicides increased during economic recessions and fell during expansions underscores the need for additional suicide prevention measures when the economy weakens,” James Mercy, Ph.D., acting director of CDC’s Injury Center’s Division of Violence Prevention said back in 2011 when the CDC released results on another shocking study.
It’s not as if local, state and national leadership are clueless. For example here in San Diego, back in 2009, San Diegans and elected leaders maybe heard this at a press conference:
“People think about hurting themselves when they feel hopeless, powerless, and despondent,” said Dr. Jennifer Schaffer, Director of Health and Human Services Agency’s Behavioral Health Services in San Diego.
Next year, as a piece in the Los Angeles County Press Telegram reminds us, nearly 5 million uninsured Californians will supposedly have health coverage. That is as soon as once the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, is implemented.
Clearly, elected officials at all levels of government have tried. But the problem has not been improving for many millions of people.
That said, what can someone do when they have struggled for years either underemployed or unable to find any job, draining finances, friendships and self-esteem?
Three ideas which may be extremely difficult, but could help in the fight against fear for a future of continued underemployment or unemployment:
1. No matter what, keep applying for jobs; do not give up. If companies need to fill a position, why not you? Keep pressing officials to help you find work, especially if it is their job to help you find work. Don’t go “quietly into the night.”
2. Keep a routine of good habits–basic hygiene and breakfast–exercise; five days a week, if you want full-time, because you should want to “hit the ground running” once the work comes again. Network with people; they won’t run if you ask for advice. And, don’t forget to ask if maybe someone can be a reference contact for you.
3. Spend a set amount of time each day for body, mind and spiritual exercise or meditation. You are a member of the human race; you are not alone in this universe. Press on.
Short of staging a sit-in at city councils – those entities also trying to make their own budgets work – a decision to help another unemployed or underemplyed human being may be an opportunity of respite from this long economic nightmare. Perhaps something along the lines of encouraging one another, pooling resources to dine on something other than canned food once a month, etc.
For more information check out these sites:
“Recession is when a neighbor loses his job. Depression is when you lose yours.”