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AZ Foreclosure “Mental Health” Crisis Looming?

September 22, 2008

Phoenix, AZ – Arizona is consistently one of the top states for home foreclosures and, while there's been a lot of focus on financial counseling and assistance, the mental health side of losing a home has been neglected, according to Dr. Edythe Harvey with The Menninger Clinic.

Homes tie people to communities and social activities, Harvey explains, and the emotional stress of foreclosure can easily become a pile of negative thoughts that can hurt mental health.

"You may just send your thoughts to, 'I'm losing my house, therefore I'm a bad person,' for which there's no evidence."

Dr. Harvey says parents dealing with foreclosure need to consider how it's affecting their children, as well, as they might have to move to a new neighborhood and school.

"Share with your children while you give them assurance that this will be okay, we're going to work through this, but Mommy and Daddy are feeling very sad and upset right now."

Dr. Harvey also advises people to "live in the moment." While we all need to learn from the past and plan for the future, she points out that regret and anxiety about things over which we have no control, is wasted energy. Dr. Harvey has been providing emergency counseling in Arizona, Texas and California.

Deborah Smith/Steve Powers, Public News Service - AZ