The End of the World

Is it the end of the world—12/21/12, fiscal cliffs, and Christian Ponder who can’t throw a pass from the pocket. Most us of don’t think the world will end on 12/21, though going over a fiscal cliff may happen, and for heaven’s sake, who knows what would happen if Ponder ever threw a completed pass for more than 30 yards. It could be earth shattering. My concerns aside—what’s on your mind? And if you’re an employer or supervisor, what do you think your employees are worrying about this time of year?

Our employees are facing plenty of very real uncertainties and some of them are more than just a little scary. Health Care Reform [is it good or bad?], budget short falls, unknown impacts of increasing and changing regulations on employers and more, all coming at a time of year with expectations of peace, joy, and human kindness. It is not surprising to find employees feeling more “bah humbug” than “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Hanukkah.”

Most of us will work our way through the season and into the New Year dealing with our own personal ups and downs, anxiety and joy. It is a common human experience to have mixed emotions and there have and will always be uncertainties in life we need to cope with. I wonder though about those who lose the resolve to cope… would you recognize when someone you know truly feels like it is the end of the world?

Suicide is a reality at this time of year, and as employers and co-workers, being aware of the possibility of suicide in the workplace can be lifesaving. It can help us to know when to reach out and truly care about others. The American Association of Suicidology has an easy-to-remember mnemonic devise to help remember the warning signs of suicide, “IS PATH WARM.”

I Ideation
S Substance Abuse

P Purposelessness
A Anxiety
T Trapped
H Hopelessness

W Withdrawal
A Anger
R Recklessness
M Mood Changes

One or two of these signs by themselves do not necessarily mean someone is suicidal though they may be sad, anxious or even depressed and in need of some help. The more signs someone exhibits the greater concern we should have for their well-being. To get more information on these warning signs and signs of acute risk go to www.suicidology.org.

When you recognize these signs it is very important not to ignore them and assist the person in getting help or finding someone who can help them. The Village Business Institute’s Employee Assistance Programs provide employers a resource to help their employees and their family members with anxiety, depression, and drug abuse—which are often issues people struggle with before choosing to take their life. If you do not have an EAP with The Village, help is also available through The Village’s Counseling programs—call 1-800-627-8220 for more information or to make an appointment.

In situations where someone is threatening to kill themselves or harm others, do not hesitates to call 911 immediately.

If you have questions about how your business or organization can provide health and wellness services for your employees, call us at 1-800-627-8220 or visit our website at www.TheVBI.com.

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