Here’s a disturbing statistic: A major Employee Assistance Plan provider reports that calls from employees and managers asking for help with potential suicides have gone up in the past year – by an alarming 33%.
Harris, Rothenberg International issued a workplace report noting the increase in calls from employees considering suicide and from managers asking for support managing suicidal employees.
The report notes that other recent research from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that the overall suicide rate rises and falls in connection with the economy.
Other results of the HRI study:
- Many employees were so overwhelmed by changes to their work environments that they became paralyzed, simply hoping that “things would get better”
- Some employees thought (or were led to believe) that changes were temporary but now realize that they are living in a new “normal.” When people realize that employment conditions have not improved at the rate they’d hoped, despair can set in
- Many employees struggled with grief over the loss of fellow employees who were downsized, adding to their distress
- Personality conflicts were seen between older employees and younger managers (who might not possess the people skills that can come with maturity), creating an enormous amount of stress and anxiety, and
- Some people became isolated from family and friends, which can contribute to suicidal thinking.
Pretty serious stuff. It’s probably a good time to alert your managers to the symptoms outlined above — and remind them to recommend that employees take advantage of your own EAP services.