Stories seem to be appearing more frequently today than ever in the past, perhaps a direct result of the current economic climate, revealing the toll that stress and financial hardship can take on someone’s life.
In one story that appeared recently, a woman facing her daily challenges of several issues, one of which being recently charged with embezzling funds, ended her own life (at age 45), leaving behind her mother and her daughter:
Former mayor of Spencer Alicia Bean commits suicide
Just a few weeks ago an employee of a nearby hospital was terminated from his employment. Stress and anger led him to go home, retrieve a firearm, and return to the hospital, shooting both individuals involved in his termination.
2 Reported Shot at Conn. Hospital, 1 Arrest
A few months back a single mother being investigated for potentially embezzling funds from her employer, a local medical practice, went home one night, shot and killed her young son, then shot and killed herself, tragically ending two young lives.
During the summer 2010, a driver for a nearby beer distributor was brought in for termination, the result of being caught on film stealing beer from his truck. After he resigned, he retrieved one of two firearms within his unattended lunchbox, shot ten people (eight fatally), then killed himself.
A driver called into a disciplinary meeting at Hartford Distributors in Manchester, Ct., opened fire on employees at the busiest time of the day Tuesday, police say.
Such sad and tragic endings, and in many cases, at such a young age.
Unfortunately, people often have no idea how much pressure and stress someone is under, even a close friend, co-worker or family member, or when someone has reached their breaking point, until it is too late. In the context of employee theft and embezzlement, it is infrequent but no uncommon for an individual facing prosecution and public humility once their thefts become known, to choose to end their life (and possibly the lives of others around them) rather than face the potential consequences of their actions, consequences that may or may not include jail time.
Although stealing is wrong, and the individual who chooses to cross the line of trust should be held accountable for their decisions as well as their actions, turning to violence or suicide does not seem to be the solution. It is so tragic and unfortunate that the individual could not recognize once they took responsibility for their actions, dealt with their consequences, and prepared to moved on, they had so much more to live for in their life.
If you know of someone who may be under significant stress, duress or struggling financially, please be sure to reach out to them and ensure they are safe. If they need help, get them help. With more people watching for the warning signs and willing to help someone in crises, more of these ever growing tragedies can possibly be prevented.