Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Depression Untreated Got EAP?

On the heels of the VT shootings Houston has seen murder suicides at Johnson Space Center last Friday as well as another murder suicide at an upscale apartment complex yesterday.

On a personal note my own 6 year old niece was spending Sunday evening with her nanny when the nanny's spouse attempted suicide. He had been depressed recently.

60 Minutes ran a very interesting piece Sunday night highlighting similarity between school shooters and presidential assassins.

As 60 Minutes noted;

"With the school attackers that we studied there’s no profile, there’s no set of demographics that they share. But there are certain behaviors that they undertake," Georgeann Rooney, a threat assessment specialist at the Secret Service, tells 60 Minutes.

Behaviors that, she says, are like those of assassins. "This isn’t an individual who just snaps and wakes up and decides they are going to attack their school. There’s a planning process," Rooney says. "This planning, a lot of times, if you know what to look for it can be detectable."

And one theme they detected was bullying: two-thirds of the school shooters were victims of bullies. "They'd call you gay, call you stupid or fat or whatever. Kids would sometimes throw rocks at me and push me and kick me and hit me and stuff like that," Luke Woodham [school shooter]told researchers.

The Secret Service research reads like a road map to the mind of Virginia Tech killer Seung-Hui Cho; he mentioned suicide to others, and he planned for months, buying one of his guns nearly three months before the attack.
HR & Benefit managers are frequently challenged to justify the ROI associated with EAP programs. Yet after every tragic event we are faced with evidence friends, families and co-workers were often aware of a problem manifested in behavior.

Murder is the Number One cause of on-the-job death for women in the workplace and 20% of those women, on average, are murdered by their partner at the workplace (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1993). Here are some tips for managers and supervisors to make your workforce safer

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