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Question
Posted by: hestia | 2009-12-23

Attempted suicide

One of our staff members tried to commit suicide. He is going through a very difficult divorce and custody battle for his child. He is also been referred for counselling by our company. I did not know how to react when he told me. Although I knew as he was in ICU for a few days. What should have been my response? I already told him before that he can always talk to me even he does not report to me.
I do not believe in suicide. I can not give him my real views about it becauce luckily I never realy went through this myself.
I told him to think about his child and that she will always need her daddy does not matter what. Did this not do more damage?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

I doubt that you have done any damage, and your concerned and caring response will have been helpful. Make sure that he gets the right sort of expert help, and that if he is already seeing a counsellor, be sure they have the full picture.
Candice's response is wise and useful.

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Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2009-12-24

I doubt that you have done any damage, and your concerned and caring response will have been helpful. Make sure that he gets the right sort of expert help, and that if he is already seeing a counsellor, be sure they have the full picture.
Candice's response is wise and useful.

Reply to cybershrink
Posted by: Candice | 2009-12-23

Hestia,

Why not give Lifeline a call and chat to them or Depression and Anxiety Group, tel number above. They can help talk you through it all and will tell you how to handle the employee.

Think for your employee, sounds like he saw suicide as a way out. His pain and depression was truly overwhelming for him. Always have Lifeline' s and SADAG' s telephone numbers handy at work. The first signs of any employee struggling with any trauma or difficult, suggest you get help for them.

I hope your employee will continue to receive counselling to see him through this difficult time.

All you can do is support him and listen to him. Never judge or ciritcize. It is the last thing anyone would want to hear. Rather tell him you are there for him should he wish to talk. Perhaps he may feel uncomfortable speaking to a fellow colleague but may be more open with the counsellor.

He needs a lot of support right now and the counsellor will help him to deal with his emotional pain in a constructive manner and not destructive (which he obviously thought would be the way out).

He may have some belief systems, the counsellor may explore. Suicide is devastating to family left behind as they never ever find closure. It is especially the most heartbreaking experience for children to experience as the sense of abandonment. unanswered questions, feelings they were perhaps to blame, if only they had done or said something etc.

I am sure he would never want to hurt his children.

Remember he may be deeply depressed and require medication to help him through this difficult time. If the hospital have not already organized an appointment with a psychiatrist and psychologist, it may be a good idea for him to seek professional help.

All the best.

Reply to Candice

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