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  • Rick Ezell

When You're At Your Wit's End

A chaplain received a call at home from an employee of a client company. After a few minutes of general comments, the man on the phone asked the chaplain, “Is everything I say to you held in confidence?”

The chaplain replied, “Yes, of course.”

The employee said, “Well, I’m thinking about murdering my wife, her daughter, and her husband. Then, I going to kill myself.”

The chaplain quickly replied, “I need to back track on what I said about confidences. I must inform the authorities if someone is planning on doing harm to themselves or others. Tell me what’s going on to warrant such a response.”

The employee then recounted a series of events that enraged him, leading him to his conclusion.

The chaplain was able to help the man step back from the situation, distance himself from the “triggers” that set him off.

The man calmed down and was no longer a threat.

The next week the chaplain called to check on the man. He was taking actions to remove himself from this volatile situation.

The chaplain encouraged him to call whenever the employee felt the “triggers” coming on. The chaplain is walking with him as he receives additional help.

Every week our chaplain teams can tell similar stories. It may seem like a small gesture to have a chaplain onsite, but when there's a crisis or an emergency or the need for someone to encourage and to console it is much appreciated by management and employees. We like to say we are like an old pickup truck: “You don't always need us, but when you do, you're glad we are available.”

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