This writer is no stranger to suicide, as an uncle of mine took his own life many years ago, and I personally knew Anjool Malde, the 25-year-old Deutsche banker who so tragically died some 3 years ago. And only last month, a security guard took his own life by jumping from a 28-storey building in London where my young niece works. She knew the person concerned.
My point is, there seems to be a lot of people around, especially those who work in financial services, who are operating under intense stress and pressure at the moment, and who appear to have lost hope. And it's often the combination of stress at home and at work at the same time which triggers feelings of despair which can end in such sadness and futility.
But many firms do have mechanisms in place that enable distressed employees to get support. Most of the big financial organisations have medical centres and phonelines to call (anonymously if you wish) to flag up or talk through problems. UBS, for example, has an employee assistance programme in place, which is a confidential service which gives free unlimited access for employees and their immediate families to specialist information consultants and counselors 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It is no shame to ask for help if you need it.
It's often hard, of course, to ask for help from work colleagues or Human Resources, or to seek professional help when things are not going well. It can wrongly be seen as a sign of weakness for an individual to hold up his / her hands to signify that all is not right in their world.
'It is extremely saddening to hear of someone from the banking community feeling that taking their life is the only way out. It is a tough time in the City and there are many challenges people are facing, but we and many other organisations can help, whether it’s around, mental health such as stress and depression, problems at home or with money. There are solutions out there', Alisa Hamzic, Head of Marketing BWC.
BWC are an independent charity offering confidential help. They have a team of skilled client advisors who are there to listen and find a long-term solution,whether it is around relationships, mental health issues or money worries. One of the most common conditions they see is mental health issues, including stress and anxiety which is why alongside their helpline they have online self-help tools including Beating Stress Interactive and i-resilience.
BWC are independent and completely confidential. For more information call free on 0800 0234 834 or visit BWC's website here.
Also, remember, the Samaritans is available for anyone in any type of distress on 08457 90 90 90 in the UK or 1850 60 90 90 in the Republic of Ireland or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Samaritans USA - If you are in crisis or suicidal and need someone to talk call the Samaritans branch in your area or call 1 (800) 273-TALK.