Welcome to our Spring newsletter. It has been a long winter here in Atlanta.
We at CRA have just recently all returned from our annual Meeting & Case Conference, in which all of us meet for 2 days to discuss our casework, educate each other, and hopefully have a little fun in the process (as can be clearly seen on the group photo below). Everyone was able to attend except for John, Doreen and Todd, who had either family or business obligations. This year, we met at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas, and somehow did manage to get a little work in. It was a very rewarding and fun time for all of us.
I want to take this opportunity in this newsletter to introduce Dr. Doreen Marshall, our newest psychologist associate. I decided that the best way to introduce her is by having her write something about her specialty area - which is an extremely critical subject when addressing the issue of workplace violence and high-risk behavior. Doreen specializes in suicide prevention.
I cannot emphasize enough the importance of understanding suicide, identifying those at risk of suicide, and preventing such acts as absolutely critical elements in any Workplace Violence Program. When one thinks of Columbine, Sandy Hook, Navy Yard, Virginia Tech, etc., one cannot forget that these, and many others, were suicidal events. It would be safe to assume that the perpetrator in each of these did not first decide to kill others, and only then suddenly decide to conclude the event by killing themselves. One would have to assume that these individuals were suicidal before engaging in homicide.
This is not to imply that all of the estimated 1 million adults annually in the U.S. (according to the CDC) who attempt suicide represent a risk of hurting others as part of their attempt, but in order to successfully promote safety within our organizations for both those who are at risk for suicide and for others in their environment, we have to do a good job at identifying and assessing this particular risk.
Marc McElhaney, Ph.D.
Critical Response Associates