13
May
09

200. Health Effects of Unemployment and Poverty

Mental Illness has long been one of the leading tenets in the cause of Homelessness both in the United States as well as world wide. With all of the Bailouts for Big Businesses, the citizens that are most impacted (laid off workers, the unemployed, and those fearing future job cuts) have been totally ignored by the Federal and States governments.

Economic turmoil (e.g., increased unemployment, foreclosures, loss of investments and other financial distress) can result in a whole host of negative health effects – both physical and mental. It can be particularly devastating to your emotional and mental well-being. Although each of us is affected differently by economic troubles, these problems can add tremendous stress, which in turn can substantially increase the risk for developing such problems as:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Compulsive Behaviors (over-eating, excessive gambling, spending, etc.)
  • Substance Abuse

The above quote comes from then Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration as well as showing the normal pattern of the causes for homelessness.

What our politicians are failing to address is the National well being. With reduced incomes leading to foreclosure, drops in income, loss of savings, there follows, hunger, homelessness, mental illness, domestic disparity, and other issues.

Men Bearing the Brunt of Layoffs

 

The economic crisis is hitting male-dominated industries such as autos and finance much harder than the more female-oriented service sector

 Business Week  May 1, 2009

This means that many families rely now on the woman to bring home the bacon and changing the family dynamic is reminiscent of the Great Depression of 1929 where many women performing in service jobs became the sole provider for the family.  Mainly the male was the insured one carrying health coverage for the family, as well as the leading money producer for the family. Changing of the bread winner or a reversal of roles can lead to serious stresses inside families that will further spill over into the youth of this country. On the extended family as well as one is now housing kids moving back in, relatives couch surfing due to losing homes, helping relatives with meals etc. Many are now doing without

Our ancestors have experienced what we have gone through before. Many of these people are still alive today and can wow you the stories of hardship. The stories of homelessness, working for food, suicide rates, and even the Bonus Army March of 1932 by veterans of World War I. Unfortunately it seems that based on past history, our governments are again slow to react to the needs of the people. To me the Presidents focus on Chrysler and 13,000 jobs (yes those are important) was underscored by the fact that it seemed he forgot the previous over 13,000,000 workers that are unemployed.

What also needs to be happening at this moment is mobilizing Health and Human Services to increase food programs, emergency housing, health care (both mental and physical). We need to head of at the pass what comes with poverty and displacement like substance abuse, crime and other illnesses. Depression causes not just mental health / behavioral  issues but also serious physical side affects including lowered immunity to illness as well.

SAMHSA also goes on to say:

It is important to be aware of signs that financial problems may be adversely affecting your emotional or mental well being –or that of someone you care about. These signs include:

  • Persistent Sadness/Crying
  • Excessive Anxiety
  • Lack of Sleep/Constant Fatigue
  • Excessive Irritability/Anger
  • Increased drinking
  • Illicit drug use, including misuse of medications
  • Difficulty paying attention or staying focused
  • Apathy – not caring about things that are usually important to you
  • Not being able to function as well at work, school or home

Now in its ultimate wisdom while pondering programs to deal with crises, The newly elected president after giving billions to Big Business wants to tax health care that is provided to people by employers to cover the cost increase for those that have lost their insurance through layoffs, as well as to cover illegal immigrants and those that have no coverage through other means. President Obama’s idea is to consider health insurance benefits as income and then tax it! Great Idea! raise taxes on those fortunate not to be laid off and or permanently terminated under his stimulus package for big business.

In the meantime, it is estimated that employers will then offer decreased benefits (as if they are not already) on top of the lower hiring wages now being seen. The administration has still not addressed nor even close to initiating a health plan to the American Public. All they have come up with so far is a proposed taxation plan. Taxes do not and have never aided the economy especially now since President Obama borrowed 50 percent of the bailout money already from overseas sources and mainly China. Read the news stories about increases to pay for the money that has ALREADY been spent, not actually for money to be spent.

I understand that the President must raise money to pay for his plans, how about enforcing rules on the money he is putting out there. A company that recieves Billions of Dollars from the Federal Reserve system should have enough cash to meet payrolls extend benefits and should not be allowed to layoff workers. So far the idiocy of what is going on with the President’s stimulus and bailout packages have actually increased unemployment and put many men, women and families into poverty. The economic bubbles that are popping currently originated in the middle to late 1990’s and are not something that just happened the past year. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of  2002 was established to oversee businesses and to supposedly prevent what occurred with the Enrons, Worldcoms and other firms with penalties for companies that have screwed up their businesses as the likes of AIG, GM, Chrysler and the seemingly whole banking sector.

Call me crazy Mr. Obama, where are the enforcements of the law. These companies should be censored, not bailed out. The rate of the layoffs and the increased burdens on family, friends, housing, and our housing and health systems need to be the center of attention.

Wanderingvet

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1 Response to “200. Health Effects of Unemployment and Poverty”


  1. March 14, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    Nice…
    Thank you !!


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