- Dec 25, 2010
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The woman doesn't say she is suicidal. Maybe it is easier to switch off and lack compassion than feel any as it would be too distressing? But why stay in a job that makes you end up that way? I know getting a job isn't easy from personal experience but I don't think psychiatric hospitals have ever been places full of compassion.I think it's important to remember that mental health nurses are people, too.
Sure, they're not supposed to fall apart, because they cannot do their jobs if they do. The expectation that all of them can possess the pinnacle of mental health at all times is unrealistic. In this case, I think this person might need a re-assignment or an assessment.
Mental health workers are in the top 20 professions with a high suicide rate.
When I'm on the forum, and start to see too many threads about people wanting to kill themselves, it gets exhausting. I can avoid them, and can only imagine what it's like to take call after call after call and not being able to escape it. Threat after threat after threat, and you have to figure out who is at-risk and who might just need talking down.
It is ironic, in a forum that is to-the-brim with people who "can't take it," yet are quick to pass judgment upon someone else who seems to not be able to take it, either. It is odd when experiencing people who demand compassion for their issue, yet have none for someone else who develops that issue, too, especially when they acquire this issue while attempting to help others who have that issue.
All of it reminds me of a friend of mine who killed himself. I knew he had problems, but had no idea. His mother pushed him and berated him after he had to move back home, telling him he was always a loser who would never amount to anything. He didn't cry out. He didn't say he was "gonna do it." He just did it, and in such a way that it employed 4-5 methods that would have worked on their own. He wanted to be sure.
No doubt, some reform is in order. Implementation of a process where mental health workers receive regular MH check-ups and evaluations would be good, if they're not doing that already. Budget considerations are another problem.
When someone calls and is in dire need, they cannot be met with someone else who is also nearing the end of their rope. That's the ideal, understandable, and expected situation. Certainly, they should take a leave of absence or leave the field entirely if they're not capable. Then, instead of getting someone on the line who is less compassionate, you get put on hold, or get no one at all.
It's a hard situation. As much as I have compassion for someone who declares that they're going to kill themselves, be it a real threat or a need for attention, I feel that I should have this same compassion for someone who ends up in this boat, after dedicating their lives to getting others out of that boat.
The suicidal person has one boat: their own. The mental health workers has a sea full of boats, all headed in their direction. I'll be the first to confess that I don't think I could deal with it. That's why I don't do it.