There has been a lot of talk about the other epidemic facing the US – the mental health and substance abuse epidemic.
As financial advisors, we do not just invest for our clients. We take a holistic look at the client and their lives. Our job is to clarify the client’s needs, identify their goals, and provide guidance to keep them on the right path to achieve those goals through the ups and down of life as well as the financial markets ups and down.
Dealing with a client’s mental health or substance abuse issues is a complex matter. And, even more complex, is dealing with a client’s family member who is suffering from these issues. Given the current events happening in the world, it is not unusual to hear of someone having some difficulties. With job losses and unemployment, there are many parents who are feeling the pressure from their children to help them out. As a parent, it is very hard not to step in and help your child. But, on the other hand, you do not want to put your own retirement in jeopardy while aiding assistance.
Mental health and/or substance abuse problems can contribute to financial difficulties and vice versa. These struggles occur across all socioeconomic backgrounds. Oftentimes, these challenges have a negative impact on financial decision making. When your children are choosing colleges, many financial experts will tell you “Don’t use your retirement money” because you can get a loan for college, but you can’t get one for your retirement.
The same applies with mental health and substance abuse issues. You should not put your own financial security in jeopardy, to help out a family member. The best thing you can do is to reach out to professionals for yourself or your family member to get help. There are many resources out there. Here is a list of some resources that can provide valuable aid:
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration – This site has many helpful tools including a national 24/7 treatment and referral helpline, a behavioral health treatment locator and a substance abuse treatment center locator.
- Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation – A leading nonprofit which provides resources and treatment for both addiction and mental health. They have a wealth of resources and advocacy programs, including a specialized program for kids living in families affected by addiction.
- American Society of Addiction Medicine – This is a nationwide advocacy group committed to improving access to high quality addiction and prevention treatment. The site has a nationwide directory of professionals.
- Association of Intervention Specialists – One of the most widely accepted network of professionals who assist families in conducting interventions aimed at getting help for addicts. They have resources in both the US and abroad. All members are Certified Intervention Specialists.
- Find Treatment – This is an official US government website with a searchable directory of 13,000 licensed treatment providers. You can search by type of treatment (inpatient, telehealth, payment options etc.) or by focus (adult, youth, veteran, LGBTQ etc.).
- Partnership to End Addiction – They sponsor a parent hotline via phone (1-855-DRUGFREE) or text (55753), as well as providing information and resources.
There are many ways to help yourself or your child out without hurting your portfolio. If you find yourself in need, please reach out to one of the resources listed above or a healthcare professional.
Hope you have a great week!
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