Episode 11

Responding to Callers with Financial Concerns


March 9th, 2019

26 mins 41 secs

Season 1

Your Hosts

About this Episode

In the presentation by Lori O’Neill, viewers will learn the issues many families face and how to best respond to their issues. She provides tips for de-escalating troubling emotional responses to difficult situations and offers suggestions for promoting effective stress management, increasing feelings of empowerment and moving forward in problem solving issues. National and global economic downturns have had a significant negative impact on unemployment rates, business closures, pensions, and investments. These outcomes have resulted in high levels of stress that affect families’ ability to cope and their overall functioning. Some individuals in financial crisis have phoned crisis/distress lines reporting they are frightened, are worried about how they will make their rent/mortgage payments, or have expressed heightened levels of anger and frustration. In some cases, they see suicide as a possible option to end their problems. Historically, there have always been families or individuals in financial difficulty. The possible causes for this include chronic physical or mental health problems such as long-term illness, a major injury or an addiction, difficulty obtaining or maintaining adequate employment, and divorce. Regardless of the causes, each family or individual will be affected by and manage the situation differently and so it is very important for crisis/distress line responders to know how to best support these callers. Questions for Further Consideration Do I have any pre-conceived feelings or ideas about individuals who are in financial trouble? Does the cause of the problem (job loss versus gambling debt) impact my ability to empathize or support these individuals? All callers deserve the same level of support regardless of the circumstances that led them to call the crisis/distress line. Personal values about what the caller should have or could have done must never impact the manner in which they are provided service. Do you know your community resources for supporting an individual or family with financial difficulties? Become aware of community agencies that offer financial counselling such as credit counselling agencies, banks, and financial advisors. Review listings for financial aid through social services, as well as locations and eligibility criteria for food banks. It might be helpful to prepare a quick guide as to locations and hours of food banks and post them for emergency situations.