How to help our eunemployed loved ones cope.

Effects of Economy on the Psyche

By WEEK Producer

July 13, 2010 Updated Jul 13, 2010 at 2:46 PM CDT

As the economy declines, researchers are learning more about the spiraling effects it has on Americans. Tonight we will look at a recent March poll to discover how the economy is affecting our mental health, and some tips for anyone you know who may have just lost their job.

There was a huge Gallup Poll that came out in mid-March. What did researchers discover?
Stress went up in the fall and winter of 2008 and is continuing at a high rate.
Emotional health was directly correlated to the dips in the market.
American’s moods are directly related to sensitive economic news.
States with the lowest emotional health ratio are the ones hardest hit by the economic crisis such as Michigan, Louisiana, Arkansas, Indiana, Mississippi, Ohio and Kentucky.
States with the highest emotional health ratios such as Hawaii, Alaska, and Wyoming (the places with open spaces and sunshine) tend to have less heart disease and less physical ailments.

Are there any other findings from the study?
Americans from 30-55 are suffering most from the economy
Hispanics are dramatically effected by the economy and their mental health is nose-diving
Mental health services are harder to access for lower-income families

What are some things people can do for those who are suffering with economic crisis or loss of jobs?
Be supportive and reach out to help.
Reach out by being a cheerleader and help the person stay focused on the positives
Help them brainstorm about options regarding jobs, budget, additional training, community resources
Give them coupons for a night out to a movie, or coupons for a dinner, or maybe even a gift certificate for ice cream or a special treat.
Call and email often. Research indicates that most people lose friends when they hit economic hardship—like the Beatles song… people discover “they can get by with a little help from your friends.”

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