Heroes who couldn't cope with the pressure

Two health workers committed suicide in New York over the weekend, confirming studies suggesting a rise in suicide rates among medical staff

Source: B92

Studies suggest a rise in rates as a result of severe work conditions during a coronavirus pandemic.

John Mondello, 23, committed suicide on Friday with his father's gun, after less than three months in the emergency where he took a job after graduating from the Emergency Medical Academy. Just two days later, Dr Lorna Breen, 49, the medical director of the emergency department at New York-Presbyterian Allen Hospital, did the same.

They both worked in the poorest parts of New York, which, with all the burden of life in them, was devastated by the pandemic of the coronavirus. They were direct witnesses to the situation and when one person died in the city every three minutes, when forklifts dumped corpses in cold storage, when there was no protective equipment, US media report.

Breen's father told the Times that his daughter had described devastating scenes of the toll the coronavirus took on patients. She had contracted the coronavirus but returned to work after about a week and a half, Breen told the Times, adding that she did not have a history of mental illness.

John Mondello, 23, graduated the FDNY’s EMS Academy in early February and then got right into the “chaos” with the Tactical Response Group next to EMS Station 18 in Claremont, one of the busiest in the city.

Described by a pal as “always very peppy, very happy,” Mondello told another friend he didn’t like his new job, saying he “was experiencing a lot of anxiety witnessing a lot of death, he’d feel it was a heavy experience when he’d fail to save a life,” the buddy reported.

Imagine what it’s like, watching so many take their last breath, helpless to stop it even though helping is your job.

The media indicates that they were heroes, who did not endure.

There are 162.000 COVID-19 positive people in New York today, and 17.682 have died.

Mental health experts say the situation will worsen during the coronavirus crisis, which could increase suicide rates by 32 percent, with health care workers most at risk.

Research has previously found that the rate of suicide among nurses and technicians is significantly higher than among people in other professions.

The suicide rate was 11.97 per 100.000 people for nurses, and for technicians more than three times higher, 39.8 per 100.000.


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