Issue #1: Parental Stress and Mental Health
Identification of the issue
Poverty is a state where one lacks adequate resources to meet all essential human needs. Families living in poverty are unable to save some money for investment or for emergency purposes. In essence, families living in poverty spend at least 75% of their income on food, shelter, and clothing. Parental stress and mental health have a causal link with poverty. With the tightened budget, parents of the families living in poverty struggle to make ends meet, and in the course of their struggles, they experience many stresses and depressions.
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The toughened struggles lead to irritability of the parenting role as a whole, and this causes the entire family to experience some mental distresses. Financial stresses increase the parents’ emotional distresses, and the parents are unable to respond sensitively to the children’s needs. Parents end up being harsh, inconsistence and non-responsive. With the above-mentioned living conditions, the children’s mental health is affected. The children live in denial; they relate poorly with their peers from elite families, and they perform poorly in schools.
As evident, the families living in poverty are those from the minority ethnic communities. These families need family strengthening interventions and family support services. It is noteworthy that these services are available; however, they are not readily accessible to most of the families living in poverty. An intervention to make the services readily available and accessible would help in addressing the issue. The service providers can offer the services in venues that the target audience can readily access.
Moreover, time is a very important aspect to the families living in poverty. Since most of the parents spend the entire day doing manual jobs to earn a living, the family support services would work perfectly if scheduled to take place during the evenings. Moreover, most of the families living in poverty are those from minority ethnic groups, and thus, they suffer from inferiority complex.
Therefore, the family-support service providers ought to be resilient. They may receive several setbacks from the target audience, but they ought to find ways to win the trust of the members of the families living in poverty. They should find a way to overcome the prejudice regarding members with mental disabilities and those with difficulties in learning.
The most important lesson that the members of the families living in poverty should learn is the coping strategies. The parents should learn how to respond to their children, and thus improve their relationship with the children despite the toughened economic conditions.
The parents ought to learn several skills; efficient conflict resolution skills, child centered parenting skills, efficient budgetary skills, enhanced emotional functioning skills, and the principles of developing healthy relationships. On the other hand, the children ought to learn how to remain resilient despite the massive poverty related stresses. The family strengthening interventions should help parents and children living in poverty to learn how to develop safe and healthy relationships in spite of the adverse effects of poverty.
Cost and benefits of the proposed interventions
The above named interventions would cost the government quite some large amount of money. Further, the involved service providers will have to work extra hard to make sure they attain their goals. They may have to work for extra hours to convince the parents to adhere to certain aspects.
The service providers may experience several setbacks from their target audience, and thus, they have to be resilient throughout the exercise. However, the benefits associated outweigh the costs. If the parents and the children living in poverty adhere to the teachings, the parental stresses, economic stresses, and emotional stresses that lead to mental health issues would decrease drastically.
Issue #2: Food Insecurity and Hunger
Identification of the issue
Food is a basic need for human survival; however, the fact that not all families can afford quality and quantity food is very distressing. Food and nutrition determines the health status of an individual. However, families living in poverty do not access the right amount of food to replenish the body’s nutrition requirements. Therefore, members of families living in poverty suffer from malnutrition. Poverty, food insecurity and hunger are somewhat related. Children of families living in poverty are prone to nutrition inadequacy ailments.
In America, there are minority ethnic communities that suffer from food insecurity and hunger. Insecure and non-lucrative jobs are the core causes of extreme poverty levels. American is a first class nation, and one would not expect to find families suffering from adverse poverty, food insecurity, and hunger. However, the tragedy affects millions of American citizens, where, the unnecessary health conditions associated with child hunger burdens the taxpayer.
It is very embarrassing that America has children who suffer from growth and developmental impairments because of food insecurity and hunger. It is also worth noting that food insecurity and hunger leads to deterred emotional, cognitive, and intellectual development, which affects the educational performance of the affected children.
Food insecurity and hunger is a problem that directly or indirectly affects the entire nation. The pediatricians, in collaboration with the ministry of health should take the role of vaccinating all children against childhood hunger medical conditions. In addition to the vaccinations, the pediatricians should treat the children in an effective and efficient manner whenever they have any health condition associated with hunger and malnutrition.
It is noteworthy that food insecurity and hunger is a community problem, and businesses have to come in and show their Social Corporate Responsibility (CSR). Business leaders have the obligation to help in financing and enabling the success of the interventions to eradicate food insecurity and hunger.
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Nutrition assistance programs, food assistance programs, programs to invest in the poor, food aid programs, agricultural programs, and programs to prevent humanitarian crisis would help in eradicating food insecurity and hunger. It is the role of the federal government, the non-federal government, and the businesses to fund the above-mentioned programs to eliminate food insecurity and hunger.
Cost and benefits of the proposed interventions
Obviously, the government will undergo extra costs in addressing the issue of food insecurity and hunger because not all business owners will be willing to fund the programs. In addition, the pediatricians and the ministry of public health will have to go an extra mile to reach the hidden patients who suffer from malnutrition. However, this worthwhile exercise would greatly help the children. The approach would solve all the problems associated with the physical, emotional, and intellectual development of the children living in poverty.
The children would perform highly in schools, and thus enhance their future life like the children from elite families. In addition to the associated benefits to the members of the families living in poverty, the exercise would save the taxpayers from the burden of financing the hospitalization of the sickened hungry children.
The employers will benefit from reduced absenteeism because of child sickness and the improved employee turnover at the work place. Finally, the government would benefit from the effective and competitive workforce of the healthy citizens.