There's no question that stress rates in Alberta are on the rise as the economy slows and layoffs occur.

Calgary Police have released startling statistics that investigators received 40 per cent more domestic violence calls in the first three months of 2016 than usual. In Cochrane, the need for support services is growing as well.

Susan Flowers, Manager of Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) says, there's a need for everything, from counseling, to basic needs.

"Our office is way busier than it was," she says. "We do have an increased workload due to stress, and family difficulties and needs. It's lot to do with unemployment, the request for food hampers have gone up. At the end of June 2015, we had 281 families that had accessed food hampers, and this year we are already up to 323 and we still have more than a month to go."

FCSS Resource Centre Coordinator Annemarie Tocher adds because of the downturn in the economy the pressures have never been greater.

"We've seen people who typically wouldn't have accessed our services before, starting to access our services," she says. "In addition, we are certainly seeing an increase in the need for referrals for family violence or family conflict related services too."

She says having more members of the family at home often due to unemployment can shift attitudes towards each other.

"Anytime we change the dynamics in a family, we see a need for family to adjust to their new reality, and with that comes stress. Sometimes that can create real opportunities of new ways of being together and positive involvement, but also we certainly can see people struggling with that adjustment."

Flowers adds she's seen first hand the positives of having family members home for extended periods of time.

"There's a lot more father involvement in the community, the numbers in our Parent Link Centre Programs show that fathers have been participating a lot more which is a real positive. If you look there is also a lot of fathers walking down the street, and pushing the carriages, walking the kids and taking them to school."

Flowers reminds everyone that if finances are stressing out adults in the home, to avoid putting those issues on children. 

"We're seeing anxiety in kids as low as four or five years old. We hear it through the schools, through the Parent Link programs, there's a lot of stress and it comes out in the kids."

Both Tocher and Flowers recommend getting help before it gets too serious.

To reach the Distress Centre call 403-266-4357

To reach the Family Violence Info Line call 403-310-1818

You can reach FCSS for more information of emergency shelters, counselling, and financial aid by calling 403-851-2250

If you are in immediate danger call 911