Counseling available for stresses caused by money worries

Posted February 2, 2009 5:29 p.m. EST
Updated March 9, 2009 5:12 p.m. EDT

— When economic pressures create emotional stress, there is no need to go it alone.

Help is available for those struggling with the worries tied to belt-tightening.

Jerry Powell, a counselor at the Fayetteville Family Life Center, said his job has been busier as more and more people worry about their jobs.

"We have 60 people on our waiting list" for counseling to deal with depression and stress, he said.

Powell said people are scared things will go "from bad to worse."

He hears clients asking, "Will we have enough money to pay the bills? Will we have enough money for our retirement? Will we have enough money to take care of our children?"

"Building up stress over time, without knowing if it's ever going to get better, can cause them to snap," he said.

In an emergency, hospitals have psychologists on staff to treat emotional problems as well as the physical. Counselors want people to know there are plenty of places to get help before stress reaches crisis levels.

No matter where you live in North Carolina, affordable, 24-hour mental health hotlines offer counseling and referrals.

As the economy sputters, operators are seeing more people asking for help than ever.

"Our call volume is up and our calls have been increasing every month," Susan Baggett, with Cumberland County Mental Health said.

"We get some calls from people who say, 'If you can't find me something or a place for my children to stay, then I don't know what we are going to do,'" she said.

With more families fighting to survive, counselors want to spread the word that they can help you get through these tough times.

"I think we need to be concerned about and taking care of each other," Powell said.