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Changing your perspective with counselling

Feelings of depression are a natural outcome of job loss. Head Family Life Ministries in Kingston, Dr. Barry Davidson notes that, "Loss impacts people emotionally and causes them to do things that they would not normally do. Depression is a normal response. They may also resort to drinking and other substance abuse."

Yvonne Foster, counselling psychologist with FLM and an administrator of the organisation's Employee Assistance Programme (EAP), notes that "persons do want counselling and the timing of it is important.

"Counselling should be done before you send off workers. Some companies are late in getting the programme in and people miss it because they are already terminated," Foster stated.

Counselling, she said, is not only about emotional help and dealing with disappointments, but also about redirecting one's life and researching options. Workers also get advice on how to be honest with their family members about the loss of employment.

Yvonne Foster said that men - who make up 40 per cent of FLM clients - were especially affected by the loss of their jobs. "They fear talking to their families because they feel they have failed. They do not want to tell your family money is going to be short and there are some things they will have to do without.

"Men tend to be regarded as chief providers. They are devastated when they are laid off. Many do not have other skills." According to Foster, once a man does not have a job his self esteem plummets and that translates into depression, anger with the world and he may even blame God.

"Sometimes it leads to a little violence. A personality change takes place because of low self esteem," the counsellor claimed.

Foster notes that women are also devastated by redundancy, but they tend to move faster in trying to recover because they have often have mouths to be feed. Women she said also tend to accept any job to put food on the table. "Men find it harder to accept any job."

According to Dr. Barry Davidson, where counselling is offered by companies after redundancies, it might be refused as it is seen as an appeasing gesture. "They (ex-employees) do not want it. they are still angry." Counselling he said, must be done before job cuts are made and not after the fact.

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