I was pleasantly surprised with how quickly I received the help after speaking with the Chambre des Métiers who explained to me how this new program works : a psychologist offered me an appointment within the following days.
To be contacted this fast by a person that I did not even know and who actually listened to me was a great relief. It is difficult to find the words to describe how much better it made me feel, but behind all of that, I realized that finally, I was not alone anymore …
Feeling much more confident and out of my isolation, it then became a lot easier for me to explain to the psychologist right from the first meeting, the struggles and the dark thoughts that had been crossing my mind. This professional lady explained to me really well what issues we were going to work on. I came out a lot more calm and more confident than ever because she told me that I was going to pull myself together and bounce back.
Now, I am much more aware of what is happening to me and, mostly, that I don’t have to feel ashamed anymore. I am going to reclaim my position in the industry and get back to where I was before. To me, the job of being a plumber is one of the most beautiful jobs in the world and I am going to prove to those certain people who caused me some problems that I am still here.
I could never be thankful enough. I could not have found it in myself to approach a psychologist, when actually I needed one so much…
What president of a commercial jurisdiction, what judge in charge of dealing with collective insolvency procedures has not asked himself the question one day:
What is this man or this woman, who have just heard the judge pronounce that their business is going to be put in legal redress or judicial liquidation going to do?
Yes, the decision taken was the only possible outcome, yes he (or she) confirmed their application, but being faced with the amount of distress shown instantly by a human being, what can we do? Suddenly a great void has emerged, tears or alarming words spoken provoke a great uneasiness and I, as I preside, I don’t know what to do next…
It is because I have experienced this situation and felt the awkwardness that other judges in our Tribunal also experienced, that we chose to join the APESA program.
To be able to say to a debtor: here we are, we have implemented the less worse solutions for your business but now let’s take a few minutes to talk about you.
We can, if you agree, arrange for you to get help.
Believe you me, these simple words change EVERYTHING.
People can then relax a little bit, a new type of dialogue can be opened and we don’t leave the Tribunal thinking: this person could take their own life and I have nothing to offer them!
It is very simple, it usually happens quite fast but putting this hand forward can give a new meaning to the other person’s life and definitely contributes to give to ours a new one also….
We can always find many good reasons not to do it.
We can also consider that putting a hand forward is essential.
Without a sound, without any judgment, simply by refusing to accept that the number of business managers committing suicide in our country is not something we just have to simply accept as a reality that we can do nothing about.
Access the testimony by clicking on the following PDF file link : Bulletin_49_IFPPC_05_2016 page 12
In the context of implementing the plan of prevention of suicide amongst the business managers, I thought it would be interesting to give, in a few lines, my impressions and feelings on my professional experience on this hot topic.
Convinced since always that the human aspect is essential in the profession of judicial representative, a profession which I have been exercising for a little bit more than five years now, I was particularly interested in what was brought by the awareness course organized a few months ago around the team gathered by Mr. Douillard, a Clinical Psychologist and Coordinator of the regional health program in charge of promoting mental health and preventing suicide;
We are indeed too often confronted in our professions with business managers who are in distress and who feel like they are left alone with their anxieties and dealing with a certain amount of guilt, which is inevitable and can sometimes lead them to committing acts from which there is no going back.
We can only offer a response that is adequate by emphasizing listening, communicating and dedicating more time to the people we may detect as “vulnerable”, without however having any training on how to deal with those difficult situations.
The sound advice of a professional and the different approach suggested by Mr. Douillard and his team were able to bring us, professionals, as well as our co-workers who are constantly “on the front line”, were the many leads and clues that helped us in our daily practise.
To understand the build-up that leads to the suicidal crisis, to be able to identify the early warning signs and most importantly to learn how to ask the true and the right questions, without fearing to hurt or to cross a line, these are the key points that I learned, thanks to these various interventions.
The analysis of the risk factors and of the “protective” factors also allows to assess and manage our worries and to “handover” the situation to the right professionals when it turns out to be the necessary thing to do.
I also add that, for my part, I have called Mr. Douillard’s team for two people in particular, and both were able to benefit from a support that was adequate and I must admit that it is a great relief for us, as we are then no longer isolated when facing these types of issues, which are, unfortunately, far from being just a textbook case.
Together we will feel better equipped for this fight !
APESA is a typical ’Therapeutic Jurisprudence’ issue, but also a ‘Procedural Justice’ issue. I think that APESA unveils a very important question. The principles of APESA are also connected to the concept of Sustainable Justice as Sustainable Justice is an overarching concept covering the movements of Procedural Justice, Therapeutic Jurisprudence, Non-Adversarial Justice, Problem Solving Courts, Judicial Mediation, Intercultural Justice, Restorative Justice, and all movements in legal practice and theory that aim to improve inter-humane relationships, the quality of social networks, and the general quality of life.”
As liberal psychologist, I am regularly required to receive persons in difficulty and some of them among people with suicidal risks.
Nevertheless, we are, my brothers and my sisters conscious (s) that the approach is to make an appointment with a (an) initiative psychologist remains a far from simple to do and unfortunately many people stay away from our offices.
When it was offered to integrate the device APESA 50 (Manche), we were nombreu (its) x present to answer (20 psychologists). We saw the opportunity to make it simpler access to our dishes, to remove misconceptions related counseling (madness, illness …) and especially to be part of a network at the service of Chief company acute suffering.
To ensure proper operation of the device, we have formed (s) to collective proceedings by attending several hearings in the commercial courts of our department, we also develop our practices, bypassing our professional habit that is to wait until the handshake is done by the prospective patient. Today, it is we who, on the basis of a written warning card and sent by the sentries, will contact the entrepreneur. The experiment is doing, it is clear that business leaders are thereby relieved, admit that they have for many, not take the initiative and say, for the majority, satisfied that this device exists .
Indeed, at first contact, we are very often faced with business leaders shot (s), depleted (s), guilty of not having found alternatives to bankruptcy proceedings, Soucieu ( its) x of the future, the image that they will give. In other words, these people are arrested as (s) in their lives.
The whole challenge of our dishes is to allow these women, these men can find a space (the psychologist’s office) where primarily they-they become a whole person.
Through different methods of network APESA 50 psychologists (analytical psychology, gestalt therapy, neurolinguistic programming, transactional analysis …) and in the words of the different (e) s business leaders have accompanied these last (s) can finally ask their suitcase in a neutral place, where benevolent (on) a therapist is there to listen, without judgment, to help better manage emotions, to accompany him to allow him to get through this chaotic period and equipping of tools allowing it to regain its autonomy of action.
After nearly two years of existence, 50 APESA allowed more than 30 business leaders to be accompanied by a (an) network psychologist. The decline and monitoring of these accompaniments allow us to be assured (s) of the merits of this approach and its need to develop and generalize.
About nine years ago, when I arrived at the registry, at the branch in charge of collective procedures, I had not anticipated that I would welcome people experiencing great difficulties, not only financially but mostly psychologically.
My colleagues as well as my clerks had taught me over time, how to handle these situations but going home after work, I was crumbling down: the “strain” that these people were experiencing had nonetheless overwhelmed me, filling my head and my heart.
It happened several times, my stomach was going into knots because I was worried about a debtor man or lady, the feeling that the person was at risk of ending their life in order not to suffer anymore. I had this feeling of powerlessness as this person in front of me was talking to me, “venting their spleen”, when I am just a registry employee. I was saying to myself: “What if this person decided to act out their suicidal thoughts, it would be my fault because I would have failed to listen, advise, etc.” And I often used to think: “but what can we do to provide these people with some relief from their psychological distress, how can we open their eyes on life?”. I am not a psychologist, and personally, I am not capable of achieving that, so what can I do?
And then one day, Maître Binnié told us about a project: the idea being to put the debtors in great psychological distress in contact with psychologists and health specialists (such as psychologists, psychiatrists…).
My feeling at the time was (and still is now) the feeling of: RE-LIEF !
Indeed, I can now focus more on my phone/reception without apprehension because I know that I can “play the joker card”: using the APESA alert sheet!
We have received trainings from their professionals which enabled us to “recognize” the people who are experiencing psychological difficulties and as a result, to take a step back in certain situations.
Now that we have this “joker card”, and we have pulled it several times, I feel more calm welcoming people and it is easier to explain how the procedures will unfold… I know that we can’t save everyone, but if we can contribute to it by at least helping them by providing moral support …
Debtors in great psychological distress are surprised by the existence of this program, they no longer feel like they are on their own anymore, they can FINALLY talk to someone outside the family and friends circles and since it is not the family general practitioner, it feels like a “fresh” listening for them with the particularity that it is specific to the problem encountered by business managers. They no longer have this feeling of belonging to “the forgotten ones” of French society.
I am pleased and proud that this program exists.