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Why Is Suicide Such a Problem in the TSA?

A Transportation Security Administration (TSA) arm patch and shield is seen at Los Angeles International Airport, California February 20, 2014. U.S. authorities issued a warning on Wednesday to airlines flying to the United States to watch out for militants who may have hidden bombs in their shoes, U.S. government sources said. iREUTERS/Kevork Djansezian (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS SOCIETY TRANSPORT) - RTX197YF

There’s a suicide epidemic happening within the Transportation Security Administration, causing between five and 15 suicides among employees every year, and about 500 more unreported attempts at suicide across the agency annually. Now, the Administration is putting together a prevention program to stop them.

In February, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employee Robert Henry very publicly committed suicide on the job at Orlando International Airport. That incident sparked a wave of action at the TSA. “The most recent workplace suicide of a transportation security officer (TSO) plunging to his death inside Orlando International Airport shocked the agency, and together with the accompanying media coverage alerted the agency to the growing, disturbing national public-health crisis,” the TSA said in a proposal, reported by WMFE, discussing a new suicide prevention program for employees.

Henry’s death uncovered a history of bullying and harassment on the job at the Orlando International Airport, something he alluded to in his final email to friends: “Tell my managers I’ll be waiting for them in Hell.”

Now, the TSA is working to prevent any more deaths like this. “To improve the resiliency of the TSA workforce and reduce security risks associated with suicidal employees, the TSA Administrator has elevated suicide prevention training to a priority senior leadership goal in his 2019-20 ‘Administrator’s Intent’ directive,” the document said, reported by WMFE.

TSA officials declined to speak with WMFE about the proposal.


[Featured Image: TSA]

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topman September 20, 2019

Jobs with the highest rates of suicide per occupation: Farming, fishing and forestry: 84.5 per 100,000. Construction and extraction: 53.3 per 100,000. Installation, maintenance and repair: 47.9 per 100,000.

Boggie Dog September 19, 2019

Are suicides in TSA any greater than the population at large? Might have to do with realizing that this is all I'll ever be.