It's just over two months since the BP Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf of Mexico , and it's only now that the real human toll of the explosion and the spill that resulted, are coming to the surface. The Washington Post is reporting on the emotional toll that the oil spill is taking on fishing communities in Alabama, Louisiana and other Gulf Coast states that are impacted by the spill. Earlier this month, a fishing boat operator in Alabama committed suicide by shooting himself in the head. It shook up maritime lawyers, local fishing communities and everyone who's concerned about how this spill is impacting these communities. There is nothing to indicate that the fishing boat operator was planning such a drastic step, but the suicide underlines how tensions, frustrations and anxieties are bubbling below the surface in many of these people. The fishing boat operator had seen business drop since the spill resulted in miles of the Gulf of Mexico waters being shut down. He had begun work as part of the BP oil spill cleanup efforts. Elsewhere in Louisiana and Alabama, domestic violence instances are high, and local volunteer organizations and churches are running counseling programs to help families of fishermen deal with this catastrophe. These are proud people who have always been independent, and who now find that not only is their source of livelihood in jeopardy, but also that they're being forced by circumstances to work for the very company that caused this entire mess in the first place. It's normal that frustrations and stress are rampant, and as an offshore injury attorney, I hope that people in these communities who are feeling overwhelmed by the situation, know that they are not alone. If you're feeling anxious or depressed, it's important for you to know that you can get help. Speak to your doctor, and share your feelings with your loved ones. Also, contact your local church. If you need help figuring out your legal rights in this situation, you can contact me at my office any time, any day of the week.
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