I have a friend who is disabled. He isn’t missing any limbs, is not blind or deaf. To look at him, and even chat with him, you wouldn’t even know his condition. But he has some severe mental health complications that prevent him from entering the workforce.
Prior to diagnosis of these complications, he had been in and out of work, typically being discharged from a job after about six months. During these interim periods, he received unemployment benefits. Apparently, he heard every “comeback” in the book.
Why people felt compelled to call him such names as “deadbeat” and “drain on society” is beyond me. He also received a few written and verbal threats from supposed ‘friends.’
These are not just isolated incidents. The way this society treats the unemployed is deplorable. Those who find themselves out of work — through no fault of their own — are cast as inept demons who happily lounge around all day whilst the rest of us work our fingers to the bone. Give me a break!
End of the Line
My friend is now on long-term disability. But the so-called ‘long-term unemployed’ will eventually see an end to their benefits. And then what happens?
Some will seek loans from friends and family. Others will dip into whatever savings they may have, take out a second mortgage, etc. There is a certain percentage of people who — faced with what they see as no other option — will blast themselves and end their pain and stress once and for all.
Spade’s a Spade
It’s time that we stop beating around the bush when it comes to unemployment. Most people are actively seeking work, and every rejection — whether they choose to accept it or not — just pushes them deeper into stress and depression. They are then forced to deal with mental and in some cases medical complications.
These people are not lazy. They’re not deadbeats, living off the taxpayers, looking for the easy way out, or any other derogatory term or phrase people seem to take such pleasure in labeling them.
They are sick and need assistance. They need guidance, encouragement, and assurance that there really are brighter days to come. They need you to understand and relate. They need your help.
by Voulghar Imalessé
Residential Life Magazine