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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Are We There Yet?

The economy and the mental health of families

A growing number of families have hit a crisis point, according to this recent USA Today story, “As economic fears rise, families on verge of unraveling.”

Parents are suffering from stress and sometimes can’t cope with economic uncertainty, experts say. The worst-case scenario happened in Los Angeles late last month, when Ervin Lupoe became so depressed about losing his job that he killed his wife and five children before taking his own life, according to CNN and other news reports.

In the last few months, more Americans have turned to therapists, according to the USA Today story. Domestic violence and suicide hotlines also have reported increased calls.

It’s not just the parents who have lost their jobs, therapists say. People who are still working also experience anxiety because they don’t know if they’ll be able to hang on to what they have. Inevitably, children begin to share their parents’ worries and burdens.

Around Christmas time, we had a discussion about the need for transparency – how families can benefit when parents can discuss problems with money and talk to kids about the economy and their fears. But even then, some parents have a hard time reassuring their children – simply because they themselves don’t know if things will be OK.

Besides just talking about it and perhaps coming up with a savings plan, what else can families do to keep it together during these tough economic times?

This blog is intended to provide a forum for parents to share knowledge and resources. It's a place for parents young and old to combine their experiences raising families into a collective whole to help others.