Find help for your employees first  

Today, I had a very odd search (yep, site meter does tell me what you are searching for when you find my Uniongal blog site).

You see a company in New York search for

can I fire someone who threatens to kill himself

So, you must be wondering how in the hell anyone found uniongal from this search, well, it’s because I blogged about Wesley N. Higdon, 25.

Who’s Wesley N Higdon? He’s the reason there are 6 dead in Kentucky

Here’s what bothers me the most is that Wesley threatened suicide the day before he had a disagreement with a supervisor about cell phone usage and wearing goggles. The day before he told his girlfriend he wanted to kill himself and the day of the shooting…

he called his girlfriend late Tuesday and told her that he wanted to kill his boss, according to police. The girlfriend didn't warn anyone, police said, and Higdon returned to the plant and began shooting.

Teresa Solano Ventura, 20, said Higdon threatened to kill himself Tuesday while they were on the phone, but he had made such threats before and she didn't believe him. (article from but no longer available at original link

25 years old and threatening suicide and murder over cell phones and goggles? Instead of anyone getting this guy some help, no one listened and he then opened fire on his boss and co-workers. At the end of his rampage, there were 6 dead.

So, I e-mailed a couple of friends. Richard from UnionReview told me to contact authorities. I thought that was a good idea and having worked in the field at one time, I searched for crisis intervention and found a neighboring county, Madison, with crisis intervention. Wrong county, so they suggested I try Contact.

Contact provides referral services and telephone counseling to those in crisis. They told me that I could put the phone number for Contact up on my site or contact the person who left the comment. I explained there was no comment, they were searching for the information.

I asked Contact if I could send them the information and I was told that it was my word that there was someone in crisis and that wasn’t enough for them to get involved because it was outside of their scope.

Gee, that was entirely un-helpful.

Not being deterred, I called the company. I got voicemail.

I then called the police. I wanted to know what crisis intervention team or perhaps county or city department handles mental health issues. The very nice officer told me that it is NOT ILLEGAL to commit suicide. There was nothing that they could do. And no, there is no mental health agency in Syracuse for me to call.

Which brings me to the reason for this posting. YOU DO NOT EVER FIRE SOMEONE IN CRISIS.

Let me perfectly clear about this…

You Don’t EVER FIRE someone in CRISIS. If you want to send them over the edge, go ahead, but if not, find them help. Call a local hospital and report what they have told you. If it wasn’t told to you in confidence (ie., you’re not a lawyer with a client or a mental health worker), find this person some help.

If you know anyone in Syracuse who deals with Mental Health issues and they would be able to do an intervention for this company, please, drop me a line. A company searching for this information probably needs a way to help their employee, not just fire them. I want to give them that help.

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