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An Online Guide to Cope With Recession-Related Stress

U.S.-supported site offers advice, referrals to help protect your health

WEDNESDAY, April 1 (HealthDay News) -- People struggling with emotional turmoil during these uncertain economic times can find help online through a new U.S. government-sponsored guide.

"Getting Through Tough Economic Times" offers resources and referrals to help people cope with the recession's repercussions. The guide includes information on spotting signs of mental distress and contains links to agencies and organizations that can offer assistance.

Developed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the guide spells out the risks that unemployment and other forms of economic trouble -- such as foreclosure or severe financial loss -- can pose to your health. The guide, based on a review of scientific research for the last two decades, also explains that economic problems may affect people differently.

It also offers coping skills, such as exercising to manage stress better, strengthening connections with family and friends, or learning new job skills.

"The guide is a quick and easy tool that people can use to better manage their emotional well-being. By helping people remain resilient, we can help promote the overall recovery of our nation," Dr. Eric Broderick, acting SAMHSA administrator, said in a news release issued by the agency.

Incidents of depression, anxiety, substance abuse and compulsive behaviors -- including over-eating and excessive gambling and spending -- tend to rise during a poor economy, according to research cited by the guide.

SAMHSA, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, compiled the guide with help from several other government agencies and the Suicide Prevention Resource Center.

More information

To read the guide, visit SAMHSA.

-- Kevin McKeever

SOURCE: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, news release, March 31, 2009

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