Kim: Hi Jan, are you still relaxed and dealing with stress much better?
Jan: Yes, but I wish I could say the same for my neighbour, Roy. He has been unemployed now for over a year and feels so stressed. The service provider is not treating him well at all and he gets depressed just going to that place.
Kim: You mean the place that is meant to get him a job?
Jan: Yes. Well, they don’t get you a job; they give you links to find jobs. That’s about all they do, and they get paid about $60,000 per year. Roy was telling me that three times now he has heard people up there talking about suicide because they’ve lost all hope at ever being employed. The service provider does nothing to help them. In fact, they told one lady to stop being stupid and go home.
Kim: What idiots! Never, never leave a person alone who is suicidal! You must always make sure someone stays with people who feel and speak about suicide and get the right professionals involved.
Jan: Ron got so worried about the lady, he followed her out and gave her Lifeline’s phone number, 131114. He ended up taking her to the local hospital.
Kim: What happened at the hospital?
Jan: They got a Psychologist and Social Worker to speak with the lady and they took over. Ron left her with the professionals and went back to the service provider and told them what he thought of them.
Kim: You would think they would have someone motivating the job seekers, wouldn’t you?
Jan: It is like anything, I guess. There are good and bad service providers but it sounds like they have no understanding of what people go through. They definitely seem to have no heart or compassion. It is so important to motivate and support people who are unemployed and give them hope. That service provider seems to have no idea.
Kim: Yep! Definitely idiots! I would have thought that working in a place that has to get people jobs, they would be trained to spot situations like this and actually do something constructive in response. I feel like going up there and telling them a few home truths myself. Unemployed people need emotional support while they are looking for a job. Rejection after rejection of job applications is hard to take, and the worry about paying bills would get to people for sure.
For some, it is so distressing being unemployed–especially long-term– that they do become suicidal. People who are suicidal need assistance immediately. It is so important to stay with them until professional help is available. Of course, without hope, people do not have much to look forward to. That service provider fails on so many levels.
Jan: Perhaps people need to go to another service provider, someone who will provide hope, encouragement and emotional support while looking for a job.
Kim: That’s exactly the right move, Jan. Remember, there is always help out there; if you are not receiving the right service, go elsewhere. Here are a few numbers you might give Ron next time you see him, in case he sees this happening again at that particular service provider. Lifeline is 131114, suicide call back service is 13000659 467, you can go straight to your GP who can refer you to a counsellor, or simply go straight up to the hospital.
Jan: Thanks for that Kim. I know that’s in Australia but what if you lived overseas?
Kim: I don’t know the numbers or services for overseas offhand but most countries would have some kind of emergency contact line. It is just so important that everyone be prepared to help people in such situations.