Unemployment Blues: How to Cope

If you've lost your job or know someone who has, you know what an emotional and even a physical toll it can take. But don't worry. There are ways to cope.

"There are no easy solutions. But there are resources out there. Some people are coping, by leaning on each other," said Dr. Bruce Hensel.

Every month, a group of strangers meet at a coffeehouse in Santa Monica. They have one thing in common: They are all unemployed.

They met through meetup.com, an online social network of local groups. The purpose: to share job leads, resume tips and emotional support.

Todd Sutphen was laid off after 13 years doing IT work and software development.

"I was doing well for the six, seven months. Then you start doubting yourself. I'm not worthy. I can't do this anymore. Maybe I need to think of another career path what do I do?" Sutphen said.

Rolando Marin was let go from his sales job at Home Depot.


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"Believe me, I crumbed, and fell, I've been down, and sometimes people hear a motivational speaker, or they'll read a book. Me? I just got tired. I'm like Rolando, enough. It's time to get up, and I did," Marin said.

While he looks for a job, Rolando started up a website called www.lafreebee.com.
"It basically tells people in LA what's free, what's going on for free: free events, free concerts," Marin explained.

Jeremy Erickson started this Meetup group. He has a job, but wanted to help others out,

"Getting people off the couch, having people open their mouth, and starting relationships that way," Erickson said.

That's important because 70 percent of jobs are found through business and personal contacts.

For Todd Sutphen, it's about more than business: "I'm going through this, they're going through this, and I'm not even sure this is going to help me find the connection I need. But it's going to open doors, and it's a support group to help people that can say it's OK. You can make it through this."

"There are a number of unemployed groups in Southern California at meetup.com. In a future report, we'll have more strategies on how to cope with the emotional fallout from being unemployed," Dr. Hensel said.


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