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Workplace Calls To Suicide Hotlines Up 33%

Well, this isn't very good news.

Calls from employees feeling suicidal as well as from managers trying to help them have increased 33% over the last twelve months, according to a new workplace survey from EAP firm Harris, Rothenberg International (HRI).

As HRI's Director of Clinical Services Dr. Randy Martin says:
"Over the past several years we have noted a direct correlation between the recent economic downturn and the significant increase in the call volume related to suicidality, including the 33% increase in just the past year. Many of those calling us in crisis should have called weeks, months, or even years ago when the financial crisis began. But with a culture that promotes independence and a do-it-yourself philosophy, many people believe they are supposed to be strong enough to handle crises on their own. Unfortunately, they end up waiting until they are on the verge of suicide."

According to Dr. Martin social support is a significant buffer to coping with hard times. "Sometimes distressed, busy working people let their social network wither just at the time they need it most," he noted. "There has been a significant increase in employee stress and anxiety from 2010 through the year to date, and overwhelmed employees who cannot see some light at the end of the tunnel may feel powerless, hopeless, angry and disenfranchised, which can lead to self-harming thoughts and behaviors."

Some emotional triggers for suicidal employees include becoming overwhelmed by changes at work; realizing temporary changes are here to stay; struggling with the loss of former co-workers due to downsizing; and "personality conflicts" between older employees and younger managers who have the finesse and social skills of a jackhammer.

By the way, if you're feeling down or depressed, please find someone to talk to today, okay? We humans may be huge dorks sometimes, but we really, really, really want you here, promise.


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