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The Economy's Effect on the Mental Health of Families in Silicon Valley

Original post made by Adolescent Counseling Services, Greenmeadow, on Oct 2, 2008

As the unemployment rate in Silicon Valley sits at a four-year high and consumer prices continue to soar, many parents are coping with the burden of providing for their families on a strained budget. A recent study by Working Partnerships USA on the current state of the economy in Silicon Valley echoes troubling national data, suggesting that despite positive predictions earlier this year, the nation’s economic woes have and will continue to have an effect on Silicon Valley businesses. With stagnating wages, an increase in the proportion of low-paying jobs, rising debt, and foreclosure activity growing in Santa Clara County by 513 percent since 2006, many families in the greater Silicon Valley area are facing tough times and even tougher decisions about how they plan to weather this economic storm.

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Comments (3)

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Posted by aimee77
a resident of South of Midtown
on Oct 2, 2008 at 8:56 am

Thanks for bringing this to everyone's attention. My husband and I recently decided not to mention anything regarding finances in front of our child, but kids still might pick up info on the news or from friends and worry...

Like this comment
Posted by PAJD
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 2, 2008 at 11:27 am

A cottage industry of psychotherapy therapy has emerged looking for more customers every time there is a crisis etc.

There is no evidence that most of these interventions do any good, in fact there is increasing evidence that, in fact, they do harm.

People have been dealing successfully with life changes for 100s of thousands of years and have evolved personal and social / familial resilience mechanisms.

The psychotherapy industry is largely unregulated in term of safe and effective methods.

In the 80s and 90s the fad was " recovered memory" therapy which did enormous harm to many people and their families yet very few therapist were held to accountable for the disasters they caused.

While most psychotherapist are no doubt well meaning the vast majority use approaches for which there is no evidence of safety or effectiveness.

In addition, unless they work for an HMO, psychotherapists have an inherent financial conflict of interest, they make more money the longer they see the client.

The industry needs more oversight and the introduction of standards such as peer review and evidence based practices.

Like this comment
Posted by Elizabeth Schar
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 6, 2008 at 11:01 am

thanks for the heads up on how to think about about the effect of today's news on our children. My experience as a parent has been our children are aware of the issues we face as adults - and it is wise for us to recognize that and talk to them about what we face. Some of us need help in knowing how to talk about this with our children. A counselor's skill, developed out of experience, can help us manage a conversation better than we might without guidance!

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