Leaders Understanding the Signs of Suicide
You have noticed one of your associate’s attitude has taken a dramatic change recently, what should you do?
The holiday season is rapidly approaching and it is statistically proven to be the time frame of the highest suicide rate of the year. Depression from bills, loss of family member, job insecurity, infidelity and the thought I can’t provide for my family being a few of the reasons.
I was fortunate to have been in a leadership position for over 24 years before I was faced with this unfortunate circumstance. I was in a Chaplain’s meeting as he was advising a room full of leaders to be especially watchful as suicide is a circumstance that can happen at any time but escalates during the holiday season.
I was one of the ignorant ones that in my mind were thinking I never had anyone make this ultimate decision. In the next 2 weeks it was like I was bitten, I lost 2 people and asked myself a million times, why?
What could I have done to prevent this from happening? Listen to your people; listen with your mind and heart as they will make comments and gestures that are indicative of where their minds and emotions are.
Observe their personality and any obvious changes, making comments like “I would be better off dead, I hate life, I am a loser, and my family hates me as I cannot give them anything. In addition be wary of people giving their prized possessions away making the comment “I won’t be needing them anymore”.
This article is obviously to short considering the subject but the message I am trying to send is listen to your team, don’t take anything for granted or think it’s not important, if leaders will listen and take time and recognize the signs of suicide you can possibly save a life.