I received a message this weekend from someone I know that was having a crisis. He was upset and was feeling completely over his head with all of his problems hitting him. This was a bit over my skills, so I’m hoping you have some tips and advice to help him.
The good news is he’s staying with a relative that can help out with rooming. So he does have a room over his head (huge plus) and rent isn’t an issue.
Here’s the rest of situation that has been stressing him out:
He suffers from depression and has a history of bad cycles.
He doesn’t have a regular job right now.
He’s registered for classes for the fall semester, but still has paperwork he needs completed to get his tuition paid by the deadline.
He has some health problems that do need addressing.
He doesn’t have glasses and has been using the same contacts for almost a year (they’re meant for 30 days).
He has no transportation and remains at home most of the time, which doesn’t help his depression.
Of course, since I’m not there I’m going by what he says. It could be a bit different, but I’ll base my tips on what I’ve been told.
Prioritizing Goals and Finances
It’s hard to deal with several issues at once, so my first piece of advice is coming up with a specific to-do plan.
Communicate with others. I think this is key. He has to be honest with his circle of loved ones and tell them his needs. I know that depression can make this extremely difficult, but it is key. As far of resources to tap into, I would suggest organizations like NAMI and local city/county resources. If he’s having trouble getting these calls made, maybe friends can help out.
Short Term Goals
Get healthy. My first priority is taking care of yourself physically and mentally. Since he has health insurance, I believe that he should take advantage of his coverage. I believe this is one case of asking friends and family for monetary help. Co-pays are much lower than paying for visits completely out of pocket, so I strongly believe others can step in and help with that.
I want to include a list of resources for those dealing with mental illness and their support network to help them find the appropriate organization.
Get ready for school. It sounds as if he’s really close to getting this done. The benefits for him include:
1)it would get him out of the apartment and maybe help him meet new people
2) it would give him access to low cost and free services that he use (a clinic, a credit union, discounts for transportation)
3) it could also help focus his attention on something that he has loved for years
Even if he can’t get it done in time for the fall, at least it’s something he can look forward to in the spring semester.
Keeping it simple is key. If he can only take care of one, getting healthy is it – hands down.
Medium Term Goals
Once he’s able to take care of the immediate needs, I would ask him to focus a few more things.
Finding a part time job/income source. I realize it can be hard to find a job with the economy, but I do believe it’s possible to get an income stream started, even if it’s a couple hundred dollars a month. He has the skills to work a couple of types of jobs and maybe he can do work on the side.
Have a financial system in place. He needs to get the most basic of budgets set up. I wouldn’t suggest anything remotely complicated until he can handle the very basics.
From there, he can reevaluate his goals goals for the long term and build a list from there.
Thoughts on Limiting Help
We offered our help and hopefully it can alleviate some of the problems he’s having. I’d love to get your take – what would you suggest in this situation? Do you know of any other resources for those who suffer from mental illness.