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SAMHSA’s Online Guide Relieves Financial Stress

SAMHSA released an online guide, "Getting Through Tough Economic Times," to help others not only identify individuals struggling with emotional responses to their financial situation but to offer possible solutions EAPs can promote.

"Economic turmoil 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; and substance abuse," according to SAMHSA.

The guide was created in conjunction with the Suicide Prevention Resource Center, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Labor, Department of Treasury and

After an employee, or spouse, has been identified or voluntarily seeks the EAP for assistance, stress coping skills should be taught.

"Acknowledge that economic downturns can be frightening to everyone, but that there are ways of getting through them – from engaging in healthy activities, positive thinking, supportive relationships,to seeking help when needed from health professionals," the guide suggested.

Techniques EAPs can promote to callers about financial stress are:

  • Remind callers of the need to keep things in perspective, focusing on the positives more than the negatives with a fixated stare on tomorrow’s sunny possibility.
  • Encourage callers to strengthen connections with family and friends who can provide emotional support.
  • To relieve stress and anxiety, suggest engagement in physical activity such as sports, hobbies, walking, etc.

Another tip the guide offered was to become involved in community-based organizations to increase the reach and effectiveness of counseling for stress resulting from financial matters.

"The guide is a quick and easy tool that people can use to better manage their emotional wellbeing. By helping people remain resilient, we can help promote the overall recovery of our nation," said Eric Broderick, D.D.S., M.P.H., SAMHSA’s acting administrator.

The guide can be accessed at:

Address: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, One Choke Cherry Road, Rockville, MD 20857; (877) 726-4727,

© 2011 Health Resources Publishing