This week, WTAP has reported on the tragedy that struck a Noble County family and the surrounding community. We also interviewed a counselor in Parkersburg about how increasing financial pressure can sometimes lead people to consider that suicide, and even worse, murder-suicide, is the only solution.
Will we ever truly know what the proverbial "last straw" was that led to a obviously distraught man killing his wife, his son and then killing himself? Probably not.
But one thing that probably CAN be said is that it's a safe bet ALL OF US are under financial pressure these days. It's a further safe bet to say that financial pressures can often EXACERBATE already existing feelings of depression and anxiety.
As more businesses continue to trim employees from their payrolls, we're inevitably going to have more people facing financial and emotional crises.
Does the Mid-Ohio Valley have the resources available to help the growing number of people who are facing the feelings of despondancy that often accompany the loss of a job? From the e-mails I routinely receive from those working in the mental health field, the answer is a resounding "NO."
So what can be done? Should some of the so-called stimulus money states and local governments supposedly will receive be used to bolster community mental health programs? Should it be used exclusively to create or save jobs to get people back to work? Will there EVEN BE any money left for local communities after it trickles down through layers of bureaucracy?
Stimulus money or not, if a job loss or other life-changing event has left you or someone you know devastated, get over the stigma that only "weak people" seek help seek help for anxiety and depression. A primary care doctor has "seen and heard it all" and can understand and empathize with what's going on. If your primary care doctor thinks further help is necessary and refers you to counselor, take advantage of it. What ever you do, don't continue to live with the thought that the only way out of a financial problem - or any other problem, for that matter, is suicide or, even more tragic, murder-suicide.
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