- Coping Strategies – the ways in which one copes with daily living and approach different situations. Without the proper coping strategies dealing with even minor life situations can be near impossible.
- Options During Problem Solving – the different ways one considers in solving a problem. Those rich in this support system can typically think of three different solutions to common life problems. Those who are not may only consider one solution.
- Information and Know-How – the different ways one gathers information and learns how to do things. Often people learn life skills from parents and good education, like how to balance a budget. Those with little or no information and know-how typically remain ignorant of many life skills.
- Temporary Relief from Emotional, Mental, Financial, and/or Time Constraints – the help and the amount of help one has during hard times. This could be family, friends, church members, etc. Anyone who can and is willing to help during hard times.
- Connections to Other People and Resources – the different people one knows who can refer one to other people and resources. This is one’s network and a way to get information and know-how when they do not have any.
- Positive Self-Talk – the little voice inside one’s head that is positive and encouraging. This system helps one to preserve because they keep tell his or her self that everything will be alright or that everything will get better.
- Procedural Self-Talk - the little voice inside one’s head that talks one through a task. Many people living in poverty do not finish tasks. This system keeps one focused and goal-oriented.
Typically, those living in poverty lack one or more of these support systems at one particular time. This may lead them to feel alone and hopeless, and sink them further into poverty. As professionals, we must work to create solid support systems for all clients, consumers, or patients by increasing resource referrals, following-up on the referrals, clearly outlining all options, and taking the time to connect with other people. Then, we will not only help people leave poverty, but also help them sustain a better life.