The past few months have been difficult for so many, and not just because of the ongoing pandemic. There is a lot going on that demands our attention, our effort, and mental and emotional bandwidth. If it’s not dealing with quarantine and working our best to stay safe, it’s handling the economic uncertainty. We don’t want to dwell on the negatives. So let’s move past and push through it!
There’s still hope!
Despite these trying times, there are still resources you can rely on it to get through this. We’re all in this together so we wanted to use our platform and reach to spread hope! Here are some resources that can help you navigate through the current challenges!
Getting Through This
Depending on the situation, the specific and unique stressors affecting you, you’ll want to look for help to address them specifically. Some of the more common struggles affecting thousands of Americans today are struggling to pay bills, financial worries, or food insecurity.
Utilities and Bills
When it comes to getting help from utilities and other bills. Don’t ask for a deferment. Deferments still have to get paid eventually, and that can put you in an even worse spot when the time comes. Ask for a discount.
Southern California Edison has programs to help you manage your utilities:
- California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) reduces energy bills for eligible customers by about 30%.
- Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA) reduces electric bills for qualified households by 18%.
Think about grants, not loans. Like deferments, loans come due and if you’re not ready to make the payments on them it can be incredibly difficult to manage and put you in a tougher spot. There are programs out there to assist small businesses or students in getting grants.
The folks over at Nerdwallet put together a great piece on ways to get money from the government for help with bills, child care and more.
One of the most common stresses, when money gets tight, is where the next meal is coming from. But it doesn’t have to be! There are local food banks and organizations that are working tirelessly to make sure no one has to go hungry!
If you are in the Southern California area, check with the California Association of Food Banks. Enter your zip code and they’ll show you what options are available in your area.
If you have school-aged children, pay particular attention to any emails, social media platforms, websites that their school uses to stay in contact with parents. Many schools have food and while they remain closed they have to get it to their students somehow. Some are setting up meal delivery routes for lunches and the like.
Mental Health Services
These are in many ways unprecedented times, and it’s totally normal to be feeling overwhelmed, or lost. But you can fight through this. If you need help overcoming these hurdles, there are professionals out there to talk to! Places like the Southern California Counseling Center are out there to help.
“SCCC provides comprehensive counseling services at rates based on your ability to pay. We believe everyone should get the care they need, at rates they can afford, for as long as they need counseling.”
There is no shame in getting whatever help you need for you and your family to weather this storm. These are difficult, unusual circumstances we find ourselves in, and not everyone has the good fortune to keep their jobs intact, or stay completely current on bills. It’s the nature of things. But it doesn’t have to be the end of it. Together we can support each other and get through this! Find the support you may need, weather this storm, and be stronger for it.
How to Help Others
You may not be struggling as others are, maybe you have your job, or a decent amount of savings available to you to get by. That’s great. Look for those you can help, if able. Look to your family and friends and see if anyone is struggling. An unfortunate truth is that as the economy struggles and the world toughs out this pandemic, our mental health can take a nasty toll. We really are all in this together, and it’s up to those of us with the means and ability to help others get through in whatever way we can.
If you (or someone you know) are struggling with suicidal ideation, please, reach out and speak with someone!