Mental health help can prevent workplace violence, professor says

“People get hurt and struggle. We have to get to the root of these issues when we talk about workplace violence,” said Dr. John Nani.

Maryland HEIGHTS, Mo. – “It’s very sad,” Dr. John Nani, associate clinical professor and director of community psychological services at the University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL), said.

Nanney talks about the shooting at Dobbs Tire & Auto Center in Maryland Heights.

Police tell 5 On Your Side a 23-year-old employee pulled out a gun, shot and killed his 52-year-old co-worker after an argument Wednesday morning.

“It’s not a surprise. “People are struggling,” Nani said.

“The biggest determinant of who engages in the kind of violence we’ve seen today is whether they have a weapon at their disposal,” Nani said.

The UMSL professor said that this incident shows that an employee can become violent in the workplace, especially if he is armed with a weapon.

What’s more, he said spotting the warning signs isn’t easy.

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“It’s really difficult to identify individuals who are at risk of engaging in workplace violence, given that many of us are at risk of engaging in any kind of violence, given the right circumstances,” he said. Nani.

Statistics show that as of October 2022, there were two million victims of workplace violence in the United States each year.

Death rates from workplace violence for men were about 75% higher than for women. Also, 68% of workers worldwide felt unsafe at work.

Nani said that currently their clinic on the UMSL campus is seeing an increasing number of people struggling with anger, aggression and other mental issues.

Issues Nani said he thinks more companies must address to help ensure their workplaces are safe places.

“I think the best prevention is better mental health care across the board,” Nani said.

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5 On Your Side will be hosting our monthly Project 5 Mental Health Phone Bank on Thursdays.

Mental health experts will answer the phones from 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m

If you need help with a mental health problem, then you can call (314) 469-6644.

To watch 5 On Your Side broadcasts or reports 24/7, 5 On Your Side is always streamed to 5+. Download for free on Roku or Amazon Fire TV.

Life Crisis Services at Provident, Inc. phone calls are answered 24/7 by trained volunteers. Call 314-647-4357.

Christine Brooks Center for Hope – Call from anywhere in the country and connect to the suicide prevention hotline nearest you. Call 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433).

The Center for Psychological Services located in the University of Washington Psychology Clinic is an outpatient mental health clinic within the Department of Psychology. Provides training opportunities for advanced doctoral students in the clinical psychology program as well as low-cost treatment options for members of the St. Louis community. Call 314-935-6555.

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The Schiele Clinic at the St. Louis Psychoanalytic Institute provides high-quality, in-depth assessment and treatment for children, adolescents, and adults for a fee based on the client’s ability to pay. With more than 75 clinics and network therapists, the Institute can refer patients to professionals with a wide variety of specialties and offices throughout the area. For adults, call 314-361-7075 x444.

The St. Louis Behavioral Medicine Institute (SLBMI) is one of the leading providers of behavioral health treatments in the United States. Behavioral professionals help children and adults who experience anxiety, depression, eating disorders, chronic pain, and other problems they encounter in everyday life. Call 314-534-0200.

Walter’s Walk provides services to individuals with mental illness and/or addiction through counseling and education, at little/no cost to the client. Call 314-731-2433.


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