An out-of-work money manager in California loses a fortune and wipes out his family in a murder-suicide.
A 90-year-old Ohio widow shoots herself in the chest as authorities arrive to evict her from the modest house she called home for 38 years.
In Massachusetts, a housewife who had hidden her family's mounting financial crisis from her husband sends a note to the mortgage company warning: "By the time you foreclose on my house, I'll be dead." Then Carlene Balderrama shot herself to death, leaving an insurance policy and a suicide note on a table.
In Los Angeles, California, last week, a former money manager fatally shot his wife, three sons and his mother-in-law before killing himself.
In Tennessee, a woman fatally shot herself last week as sheriff's deputies went to evict her from her foreclosed home.
In Ocala, Florida, Roland Gore shot his wife and dog in March and then set fire to the couple's home, which had been in foreclosure, before killing himself.
In Akron, Ohio, the 90-year-old widow who shot herself on Oct. 1 is recovering. A congressman told Addie Polk's story on the House floor before lawmakers voted to approve a $700 billion financial rescue package. Mortgage finance company Fannie Mae dropped the foreclosure, forgave her mortgage and said she could remain in the home.
Granted these are difficult situations which often call for desperate measures, but death should not be an option. Surely the government will introduce some funding for programs aimed at reducing these numbers and not simply increase funding for programs that seek to turn the economy around. If the financial crisis cannot be avoided, at the very least, social programs should be put into place to help individuals deal with such tough times more appropriately.
There is an obvious need for financial counselling and money management training. It also couldn’t hurt to develop more combined approaches that focus on housing, stress management and marriage counselling as many of these issues become interrelated. In addition, there should be a more significant focus on awareness. Many resources already exist, but many people may not know where to turn. There is an abundance of local, national and even international crisis hotlines in existence. Some of these resources include, but are not limited to:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
TTY: 1-800-799-4TTY (4889)
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a network of crisis centers serving the entire country. Calls originating from anywhere in the country will be routed, 24 hours a day, to the nearest available crisis centers. This call routing is based on crisis center call capacity and availability.
"We work worldwide to provide emotional support, and reduce suicide. We listen to people who are in distress. We don't judge them or tell them what to do - we listen."
National Hopeline Network
If there is an immediate need for help, make sure to call 911 for emergency services or go to the nearest hospital emergency room.
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