How does an individual or a family end up being overwhelmed by social problems?
The circumstances that lead to social problems in our country are various. If there is unemployment and, therefore, lack of money, this will lead to other problems for the person concerned. One can mention dependence on vices such as gambling, alcohol and even illegal substance abuse. These are the drivers behind people’s social problems.
Sometimes something comes up in a person’s life that creates social problems. This leads to a complete change in the person’s lifestyle and that of his family. It could be illness in the family that requires changes in the family’s routine, including changes in the hours of work.
Good mental health will help the individual to deal with and overcome any social problems they may find themselves in. Society must help people rise above their social problems. We need to look at this issue from the perspective of the community and, if we help collectively, we can mitigate social problems. This is not an easy task because these problems are never ending. This is the ideal situation. We need to start off by asking: how can we help these people overcome their social problems?
Having said this, sometimes people who are going through a series of problems refuse help. In spite of the opportunities some people may be presented with to help themselves, they have no will or appetite for change and refuse to be helped.
Here one must also look at the support system of the person concerned. Unfortunately, there are people who literally have no one in their family to help them. They live alone. In such situations, the community or the neighbours are instrumental in helping these vulnerable people.
In our country we are fortunate to still have a sense of community and this is something that should be maintained. The parishes and school administrations can also help identify those in need and refer them for help.
We may have the services and the educational systems to help, but above all the individual needs to have the will to stand back up on his or her feet and look for help. Sooner rather than later.