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ABC News: How to Conquer Recession Depression

October 8, 2008

Reports are coming in from all over confirming that the tanking economy is taking its toll on the emotional health of increasing numbers of people. 

ABC News: How to Conquer Recession Depression

With the stock market plunging and Americans losing their homes and jobs, it’s no surprise that mental health can take a nose-dive as well. In tough economic times, hopelessness and depression can encroach on our energy and optimism.

“It isn’t your normal kind of recession, which makes it more fearful and it paralyzes people,” said Harvey Brenner, a public health professor at the University of North Texas Health Science Center, who has long studied the relationship between mental health and recession.

Brenner also said suicide rates can almost become economic indicators.

In Virginia, a suicide hot line said suicide-related calls in July and August were up 62 percent from the same time last year. Though the hot line’s operators said the rise is not all due to the economy, call logs indicate that’s part of what’s going on.

Crisis hot lines around the country have reported recent increases of people concerned about their finances. ComPsych, the largest provider of employee assistance programs, said calls from people asking for help because of stress from financial problems jumped 21 percent in July 2008, from a year earlier. ValueOptions, which also runs employee assistance programs, said people calling to ask for help with financial problems have jumped 89 percent.

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