When we talk about loss, and grief, we only ever rarely talk about loss of identity. This is curious, given it is such a pervasive form of loss in our affluent society, with many possible triggers:the loss of work (injury, redundancy, or retirement), home (emigration), a relationship (family violence), or health (disability, mental illness). I am uncertain that we have adequate language to talk it through, or understand its complexity.However, this article is a good starting point for discussion. It also names some of the more pervading, and unhelpful, public attitudes to our clients. For those interested in reading more in this area, you may like Marc Auge’s ‘No Fixed Abode‘, a brief and thoughtful fictional ethnography of homelessness.
People who are unemployed can be made to feel worthless, stigmatised, unwanted and lonely. Tracey Robbins discusses how we can seek to understand the loss of identity and loneliness people can feel as a result of being unemployed, and reset the way we work together as a community to help people find a way out of loneliness and possibly, find work too.
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