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Posted on Wed, Mar 9, 2011 : 5:05 p.m.

Don't let the pressure build while job hunting - there is help out there

By Kim Kachadoorian

I usually try to keep things positive and upbeat, however this past month someone from one of my online job hunting groups killed himself because he was unemployed.

He left behind a wife and a young child and people that cared about him. Some of us cared without ever meeting him.

So I decided to write a column about some of the services available to help people over the financial and mental obstacles that can come with being unemployed.

This article concentrates on help available within Washtenaw County, but there's help in all counties. Your local Michigan Works! office will have lists of agencies in your area if you are not from Washtenaw.

Many of the agencies listed here operate at no-cost or low-cost for people who don't have health insurance.

Thumbnail image for depression_yewwei.jpg

A sketch representing depression.

Image CC License: Yew Wei Tan via Flickr

First, we need to start the conversation and recognize that depression is not something you can “catch” nor is it something you can just shrug off.

After my friend's suicide, I heard a comment that he was selfish for killing himself. People who suffer from depression or similar disorders need real medical intervention, whether traditional or holistic — I've seen success with both. People who kill themselves are not selfish; they're responding to brain chemicals that alter their day-to-day life activities.

Second, because I know how it feels to not have a job or insurance, I want to share some of the places you can seek help. Yes, some readers might not like or agree with these groups' politics or religion, but please understand when someone is without insurance or a good source of income, these organizations offer real alternatives that take away some of the pressure of being unemployed.

I've gathered phone numbers and information from a variety of sources, but mostly from the Michigan Unemployment Office guide from a class at Michigan Works! in Ypsilanti titled “How to get a job in a tough economy.” It's a great class, and I highly recommend it.

Counseling and suicide/crisis hot lines

  • U of M Psychiatric Hotline, 734-936-5900
  • U of M Crisis Hotline, 734-996-4747
  • Helpline, 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433)
  • Helpline, 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)

Clothing, financial assistance, food, housing/utilities, transportation

Child care
  • Provides parents with child care referrals to licensed child care providers, may provide some assistance with cost of child care, Child Care Network Washtenaw Regional 4C, 734-975-1840 or 1-800-777-2861

Employment services

Legal assistance

GED and education resources

Health care

  • Physicals, immunizations, diagnosis, treatment, stress management, baby care, community resources and mental health, Corner Health Center, 734-484-3600
  • Medical, dental, food, laundry, utilities, Hope Clinic, 734-484-2989
  • Women and men’s reproductive health, STD testing and other services, Planned Parenthood, 734-973-0710 in Ann Arbor, 810-220-4513 in Brighton, 734-485-0144 in Ypsilanti

Specific populations

  • Seniors age 60 and up. Respite care, adult day care, chore services, meals, support groups, Area Agency on Aging, 1-800-852-7795
  • Seniors who need prescriptions, home repair, ramps, Neighborhood Senior Services, 734-712-7775
  • Veterans who need disability compensation, home loan guaranty, burial, emergency financial assistance, readjustment counseling, tax foreclosure, utilities, prescriptions, Washtenaw County Veteran’s Affairs, 734-973-4540
  • Women who need professional apparel and a female network of support, Dress for Success, 734-712-0517

If you know of other resources, I encourage you to make use of the comment section below. If one of the above groups is no longer in business, please comment and I will fix it. I tried to call all of them before publishing this list.

Take advantage of the resources available. Once you find a job, consider donating to the groups that helped support you.

If you are a friend or a relative of an unemployed person, consider donating a grocery gift card or child care, something the person could really use while looking for work.

Lastly, if you are suffering from depression, suicide is not the answer. Call for help.

Kim Kachadoorian is a community contributor writing about job hunting and marketing for on alternating weeks.


Kim Kachadoorian

Thu, Mar 10, 2011 : 9:40 p.m.

Thanks @Barb - it broke mine too, I had to write about it - as long as I know I did my best to help someone that might read this I feel better.


Thu, Mar 10, 2011 : 3:35 p.m.

It breaks my heart to read this and it makes me so sad to know that this happens to people but I think it's so important to recognize that this is a very real component to the world we live in now. Nicely done, Ms. Kachadoorian.

Kim Kachadoorian

Thu, Mar 10, 2011 : 2:16 p.m.

@TopCat - thanks for the nice comment - a positive attitude is critical. This article is more for information and resources, I just felt so bad that this man found it necessary to take his own life. There are so many places where you can get help. I have used several of these resources. I plan to donate to each of them that helped us on several occasions.

Top Cat

Thu, Mar 10, 2011 : 1:10 p.m.

Having been unemployed three times, though thankfully not now, my advise to anyone unemployed is to make your number one priority the maintenance of a positive attitude. It is so easy to get down when you feel that no one values your skills and so many people promise to get back to you and do not. Kim does a good job and a valuable community service with these columns.