One Broken Mom Hosted by Ameé Quiriconi

Careers That Kill with Dr. Margaret Rutherford

July 03, 2021 Amee Quiriconi Season 4 Episode 9
One Broken Mom Hosted by Ameé Quiriconi
Careers That Kill with Dr. Margaret Rutherford
Chapters
One Broken Mom Hosted by Ameé Quiriconi
Careers That Kill with Dr. Margaret Rutherford
Jul 03, 2021 Season 4 Episode 9
Amee Quiriconi

Did you know that suicide rates are higher in some industries than other?  In this episode, Ameé speaks with therapist and author, Dr. Margaret Rutherford about careers with a high suicide risk rate and how trauma-informed leadership can help reduce these numbers.

In the episode, you will hear:

  • Which industries have the highest rates of suicide amongst their employees
  • The role stigmas around mental health and mental health services play
  • How workplace cultures can be harmful to people who come forward with mental health concerns or issues
  • The culture in blue collar careers that may be hurting employee mental health
  • Ideas for bringing mental health resources and awareness to hard-to-reach communities and industries

Resources

CDC study of careers with highest rates of suicide:  https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6903a1.htm

http://DrMargaretRutherford.com

Order Dr. Margaret's Book Today: Perfectly Hidden Depression

SelfWork Podcast - https://drmargaretrutherford.com/selfwork/


Links to buy The Fearless Woman’s Guide to Starting a Business

Amazon (Audio, Print, Kindle Versions): https://amzn.to/3daO7nA

Barnes and Noble- https://bit.ly/FearlessWomansGuide

Bookshop- https://bit.ly/FearlessWomanBookshop

Visit https://www.ameequiriconi.com/ for more articles about self-help, healing from trauma, leadership, business, and more!


Show Notes Transcript

Did you know that suicide rates are higher in some industries than other?  In this episode, Ameé speaks with therapist and author, Dr. Margaret Rutherford about careers with a high suicide risk rate and how trauma-informed leadership can help reduce these numbers.

In the episode, you will hear:

  • Which industries have the highest rates of suicide amongst their employees
  • The role stigmas around mental health and mental health services play
  • How workplace cultures can be harmful to people who come forward with mental health concerns or issues
  • The culture in blue collar careers that may be hurting employee mental health
  • Ideas for bringing mental health resources and awareness to hard-to-reach communities and industries

Resources

CDC study of careers with highest rates of suicide:  https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6903a1.htm

http://DrMargaretRutherford.com

Order Dr. Margaret's Book Today: Perfectly Hidden Depression

SelfWork Podcast - https://drmargaretrutherford.com/selfwork/


Links to buy The Fearless Woman’s Guide to Starting a Business

Amazon (Audio, Print, Kindle Versions): https://amzn.to/3daO7nA

Barnes and Noble- https://bit.ly/FearlessWomansGuide

Bookshop- https://bit.ly/FearlessWomanBookshop

Visit https://www.ameequiriconi.com/ for more articles about self-help, healing from trauma, leadership, business, and more!


Amee Quiriconi:

Hi there, everybody. Welcome to another episode of one broken mom, hey, this is one of those conversations that I've been having over the course of this last season where as soon as I hit record, me and my guest, we just start talking. And so I never get a chance to bring in a proper introduction at the beginning of the conversation. So I'm going to go ahead and cut this short. And you guys can jump in on my fantastic talk with Dr. Margaret Rutherford, as we begin our really enlightening discussion about careers that kill There we go. Um, and and so when I saw your article that you did on careers that kill I was like, Okay, well, I that's like, right in the wheelhouse of the things that I want to talk about is to bridge the, you know, the gap in our conversations with our work environments, with our jobs, with our mental health, with our history, with our, you know, and all over the place there. So

Margaret Rutherford:

yeah, it's kind of interesting, the the actual suicide rates, the careers that I have focused on our doctors, but one, one of which was because that that was triggered that whole episode podcast episode was triggered by the Twitter feed that doctor this doctor has, and I was intrigued by him because he's a recovering alcoholic, and he was also heavily, you know, depressed and suicidal. And his name is Dr. Adam Hill. And I just, and then I started thinking, now wait a minute, since I've been talking about perfectionism and depression, and all that stuff, so much. Having written the book perfectly in depression, then I thought, Okay, well, this would fit very well into self work, which is my podcast. So anyway, so I really I have to give him credit for giving me the idea, because not that I wasn't aware of that. But I really wanted people to hear the kind of thinking that goes on. And so so far, I have featured doctors and veterinarians, interesting. I would never particularly have reached out to them. But they reached out to me and said, Oh, yeah, suicide is a huge problem for veterinarians. And so I thought, Okay, well, y'all come talk to me, and it was a fascinating discussion. And then I've done one for Memorial Day, we talked to both. I hate people who say we I talked, we talked, gosh, darn, I got to watch that. I have a team. So I want to give them credit, but they didn't talk to him. I did. So I talked to Dr. Shawna Springer, who is a very well known in the veterinarian, not veterinary veteran community, for her solid work was with vets who have become very, very depressed. And she is was an fascinating guest. And then tragically, I talked to him and I Danica Thomas, who a friend of mine introduced me to whose husband had been a military veteran, and he had gotten not only PTSD, but a lot of other issues. And the VA just couldn't take care of him and he ended the story is tragic and and not only did he kill himself, but because he was in a brief psychotic episode, he actually killed a couple of other people. Oh, gosh. She dedicated she's dedicated her whole life to trying to say, you know, my husband instead of dying, a hero died a villain. And I don't want that to happen to anybody else because of mental illness. I mean, not everybody felt that way. But obviously some people were very judgmental about that. So not understanding what even what a brief psychotic episode is. So I you know, I've been really honored. I've also been interested in talking to police, but actually what I did this morning ama was I read I really looked at the top suicide rates as far as as employment is concerned, and it's not doctors or, or dentist or veterinarians, or now veterans I don't have in this list. But it's so it's fascinating because number one is farm workers. And an ag people in agriculture. Or two is carpenters miners, electricians. Number three is mechanics. Number four is factory workers. Number five is architects and people who are engineering got that mathematical mind. And then we get to police and actually, they're more policemen who kill themselves and are killed on duty. And I know this is a huge controversial topic right now. And I don't know if you probably want to go into and I don't I'm not an expert about it. But I think that is a striking statistic statistic. And then we get down more to something These people that I've talked to not that that's. And then there's the striking, striking statistic that 20 vets kill themselves a day in the United States. And there are only 130 people who kill only 130 people who kill themselves. So that is almost what my math is terrible 20% 20% Yeah, it was to 20% of the people who die by suicide in the United States are veterans. So and it's Dr. sprayer brought up or she's called doc brought up that you would think that those are more recent warriors, people who, from Afghanistan and that kind of thing. They are not, they are actually older warriors who had the highest percentage of that. So I just went off on a diatribe about suicide rates and profession. So

Amee Quiriconi:

that's okay. And you know what I'm just gonna say, it's for everybody that's joining in, you're listening to Dr. Margaret Rutherford. And I've done this on a couple of episodes already, where the conversation just started. And I didn't do my normal warm up. And I'm like, we're just going for it. And so everybody, we're having another one of those episodes again, and it's because this is an important topic, and it's, there's so much out there. And, and you know, and so the context of today is to talk about what we see, we call it careers that kill you know, is there Are there areas of of employment or professional work experiences, where we see these rates that are higher than others. And I have talked about military veterans before with other military veterans and addressing, you know, the startling rates of suicide within that community, but we don't think about like, you know, that's amazing, the list that you just rattled off there, because some of those jobs don't seem like the high stress, I'm air quoting it for the listeners, you know, the high stress jobs or the, you know, fraught with danger, or you know, where you could be subjected to things that would could cause post traumatic stress, responses or disorders. What I heard in that list, however, though, is that they're overwhelmingly blue collar fields and male dominated fields. And we do know that the higher rates of suicide of dying by suicide, and I'll say the word successfully, but not in a terrible word, it's a terrible word. But you know, our men in middle age, you know, the 40 to 55 year old, you know, that's in my generation next generation. And that's the group that's growing at the at a larger rate. It means, right, like, usually the those deaths are due to guns because of accessibility to guns and firearms. Exactly.

Margaret Rutherford:

Yeah. And so it also, this article that I read pointed out that sometimes there's access to healthcare, that's not as good in these more rural kind of communities. But also just probably, you know, given what I know about mental health stigma, those not not to stereotype, but a lot of times, I think those kind of professions, attract people who are very independent to attract people who may or may may have kind of worshiped at our, their families or their cultures, you know, believe in stoicism maybe from from a religious viewpoint or from a cultural viewpoint. And, you know, I'm sure that if I had said to my grandfather, who was a work in lumber, that, you know, I was going to be a therapist, he, he would have looked at me and said, Well, those people are those, those are the people that study their belly buttons, I think he probably would have said, and I'm like, Well, you know, that's one way to look at it. So, you know, there's a disparagement of, often of, that's kind of silly, and you just rub some dirt in it and go on and, and I understand that sometimes you do rub some dirt in it, and that's what you got to do. I have plenty of dirty wounds myself. So, you know, some of that is, you know, you got to you definitely want to find that, that resilience that is important, but at the same time, I'm a huge advocate for the idea that you can both be resilient and connect with your vulnerability all the same time.

Amee Quiriconi:

Right. Yeah, absolutely. And you know, and as I've you know, made a kind of a pivot for myself of bringing one broken mom and all the work here to the work that I've done as an entrepreneur and as a business consultant, you know, my focus that you know, I kind of started off 2021 with bringing trauma informed leadership to businesses and organizations because I think about interesting frontline workers and let's just call them a frontline worker. You know, I've worked in blue collar I've had my manufacturing business, I've worked in engineering I've worked in those fields with the high rates of suicide there and and I'm, you know, I grew up as rub dirt in it and move on, you know, type of a person. Well, you know, fast forward a few years and guess what, that didn't always work for me and I needed to figure out you know, my journey but You know, I think about a lot of these companies that I've worked with, that I've worked for, with or whatever, usually lack a fully defined human resources department. HR is something that maybe the person who's doing the accounting or even like the president of the company is doing, right. So within the company itself, there isn't a good conduit to help. And, you know, and for me, you know, opting out of doing just exclusively like business coaching, or executive coaching, I, you know, I think about the people that don't know how to resource themselves to get mental health help, and how to start conversations in organizations where everyone's a tough guy, and everyone's You know, it has that stigma, that mindset, and this isn't shaming. I know you and I both know this, like, when we talk about the stigma, and we talk about people unwilling to address mental health, we're not trying to shame them for the lack of skills, it's just, those are skills that have to be taught, right. And when you come from family dynamics, cultural dynamics, like you pointed out rule areas where there is lack of resource and just really an acceptance of taking care of our brain, the way that we take care of the rest of our body. I

Margaret Rutherford:

mean, it is a huge challenge, and it breaks my heart that it the work needs to be done. You know, it's funny, we're doing this interview this week, because I'm doing a my podcast episode is on the new documentary, The me you can't see. And I was, you know, mentioning, you know, Prince Harry, if you want to call him Harry or Prince Harry, whatever you want to call him. He calls himself Harry that, you know, he said, I had no idea which is kind of hard to believe that both the kind of life he'd lived being a royal and then his mother tragically dying, it never occurred to him that some of the things that might be going on with him in the present, were connected with that. And you might think, Well, you know, he's making a lot of money saying that, and that's interesting. And look at him. Now, if you're a bit doubtful about all that kind of thing, but it made me think about this huge burly guy that I saw one time I'm in Arkansas. So I'm in a fable, Arkansas, which is in the right at the cusp of the Ozark Mountains. And I've been here for a long time. And I've opened my practice to I mean, I've seen lawyers and seeing, you know, corporate people, but I've also seen people who work on the chicken line at Tyson. And I've seen, you know, firefighters and I've seen all kinds, I've loved seeing a gamut of people, wide gamut of people. And I'll never get this big, former prison guard. And he came in some what like, like, you know, didn't really know why he was there. His wife had suggested it to him, because he found that he was, would get very angry with her. And he actually loved her a lot and didn't want to do that was quite, you know, he would fly into these kind of rages. And as we began talking about his childhood, he would kind of look at me, like, very like what you know, and I'd say, Well, you know, you had a stepfather that literally, every time he came home, rubbed his finger along the furniture that you were supposed to have dusted and cleaned, and if there was a speck on it, you got the you know, what beat out of you? And he said, Well, you know, he loved me, Well, my dad laughed, and I said, that's great. He added some obviously great sides, but it sounds like an OCD, or something. And he could be very punitive. And the more we talked, the more he realized that there was a connection there because he won when he was a prison guard, he got all that aggression out. Maybe that's sort of sad to think about, but he did. And then when he that ended, these are when these rages started, and he realized that when his wife was he, when he was beginning to feel as if he were under pressure with her to act a certain way. He would become enraged. And we began, I'll never forget the day he goes, You mean, something that happened to me when I was six, has something to do with who I am at 50? And I said, Yeah. He said, Well, that makes sense. I never would have imagined that and, you know, it's it's kind of it's very rewarding to help people see that. And, believe it or not, he began to look at that and realize that was a big trigger, and he didn't do it anymore. But it was it was wonderful to see him begin to adopt this. And this other way of thinking that is more about systems and patterns and and damage that just lies silent for a long time. And yet because you can't see it, it has an effect on you. So,

Amee Quiriconi:

yeah, yeah. And I, you know, and I did an interview yesterday for another podcast and I was talking about, you know, similarly to this where, you know, for me, I had that kind of that same mentality of like, you know, I didn't understand and it came down to this, I boiled it down to this, it came down to understanding how brain science happens. Yeah, I mean, it's really nerve, it's neural pathways, you know, I was in the camp of the stuff that makes me cry, when I think about it as a little kid, obviously, is not important. It's just a sad memory, you know, just kind of kept it over there. This person I was talking to yesterday, we were talking about mindfulness. And I said, you know, to be honest, when people would talk about identifying your inner child, I thought that all sounded really woowoo to me, you know, because it's like an inner child, you know, like, you know, and you see all that, and I'm just like, that's not like that. That can't be it. But as soon as I learned about how the neural pathways form, and that it's a, it's a programming function of a human brain, and then the fact that no one's ever been taught, of course, we're learning so much recently. But then on top of that, we haven't integrated that into our language of knowing like, how do you cure a scratch on your hand? And you know, what happens if you have a heart problem and all the other things that we that are commonplace in our education of this? You know, the body that we have? That it was like, Oh, well, then that that absolutely makes sense to me, if you're telling me that my neural pathways are forming, have a lot of them before the age of three, then I go through adolescent brain development from 11 to 25. And at the same time, I'm you know, and I break it down from the science like, well, then yeah, now I've got a, I've got a reprogramming thing to do, like, I have a computer whose operating system is still what, you know, 486, you know, in a Windows one. Since you know, 1990, you know, and that's the last time it received a major update. Yeah, no, I need to get this thing up to speed. And then I know for me that that practical sense of looking at it then said, Okay, then when we talk about an inner child, what we're talking about is the neural pathways formed under toxic stress under abusive conditions under a neglect, under whatever the trauma, you know, may have happened to us. And that trauma wasn't big, it could have been a lot of small traumas. But now my memories, my emotions are based on those experiences. And all I have to do is to update it to the adult version of my adult life, and kind of resolve that. Okay, I'm in, you know, I can I can do this.

Margaret Rutherford:

Yeah. Well, I just sent someone for the first time, which I'm wish I'd said other people, I just read Bessel Vander kolk book, the body keeps the score. That's actually not true. I had read his book before I actually took a seminar from him, which is vastly different. The book was kind of pedantic, but he speaks so wonderfully. And it was like a whole different experience. And he talked a lot about neurofeedback being one of the things that he trusts the most, as far as retraining those neural pathways. And I have my first patient trying it in, she's a doctor. And she was like, well, this makes sense to me, you know. And this, I understand, so it's gonna be really interesting. And there's a lot of research with both neurofeedback and then something called EMDR, which does the same thing, which is eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy that actually begins to use, and you know, this to use the plasticity of the brain in its, you know, to heal it. So that's really, it's just fascinating.

Amee Quiriconi:

Yeah, yeah, it really is. And it goes back to, you know, kind of what we, you know, have the discussion for today, which is, you know, there is this disconnect between again, people are believing that and actually businesses and organizations I'll put this I'm, you know, I'm holding businesses accountable. That's like, my new thing for 2021 is to help business leaders accountable for the environments that they create. And I think a lot of times too many businesses don't believe that, that they have any accountability in the mental health of the people that work for them. Because, you know, it would be easy to say, well, that person was probably going to try to die by suicide even if they didn't work for me or they did something else. And that may be a true statement you know, but it's also possible like this Schrodinger cat like both of these things can actually be true that maybe they wouldn't have if not for the relationship at work the environment at work, maybe they were, you know, treated hostile Lee maybe the you know, everybody in this, you know, organization had a culture of, you know, punitive action. against the employees and you know, or there was a lack of trust amongst everybody. And those Actually, we know can contribute to these underlying traumas that people may be holding on to or re triggering these traumas that are in there. And to me, I think that's the important thing that I like to see, with, you know, especially in these careers, like I said, the careers that you've pointed out are the ones that have the least access, it seems to the resources for the individuals who are the most at risk.

Margaret Rutherford:

Well, and even the profession so far that I have I have talked with, I'm talking about Dr. Adam Hill again, and he said, you know, it's just having an emotional reaction to something as a medical professional is just beaten out of you very, very early and, and you are, you just kind of become this. Your incred incredibly fatigued, and some of this is his, you know, we've heard about a lot, but he also had an interesting experience, because he literally was out of the woods with a gun and, and, you know, was drunk as he could be, he was just smashed. And it was a phone call from his wife that, and thank God, there was a cell phone tower nearby, that, you know, kind of woke him up to what he was doing. But then he went to this person that he really trusted another doctor and said, I'm going to come forward with this as my truth. And not out of really the way Adam tells it, not out of like, judgment, but out of a sense of real concern. Hey, bud, are you sure you want to do this, I mean, this is not going to be some Disney story about you coming forward with, you know, having, you know, drinking yourself and not drunk at work, but dropping as soon as he got home. And then this depression. And he said, I have to, and sure enough, his career suffered. That's part of the book is that he was a pediatric oncologist. And that there were some ramifications, there were some people who all of a sudden, he went invited to committee meetings. And now that changed over the years. And now, in fact, he has been very active in his State Medical organization to stop some of the licensure questioning about mental health issues, it's really very intrusive. And, and, and will cause people to think I better not tell anybody, because I might, you know, not be able to people will see me as not able to function. But he was very honest about that. That that there would be ramifications. I think when you talk about creating an environment at work, where, you know, when you get into trouble, it's understood that That, to me is one of the most important markers is that if you report if you say I need to take FMLA, or you need to take care of yourself in some way, or you need some time off, or you need to go into rehab, or whatever it is that there are not ramifications for that. There may be some, hey, I really want to talk to you about how you you believe this has affected your functioning? And how can we help you get back to where you're fulfilling your potential. But so many people tell me still, now I know I'm in Arkansas, but they'll say, Oh, I don't want to fall insurance because I don't want to, you know, I'm scared, my employer will know, I'm in therapy or whatever. So we just got to get, you know, we've got to change that.

Amee Quiriconi:

Right. Right. Absolutely. And, you know, I know you're, you know, in Arkansas, but I've heard this from other people that even know better that, you know, and I say no better air quotes around it. Right. You know, they're, they're the professionals that are aware of, you know, how mental health is. And still when the suggestion is made to take advantage of the EAP, which is the Employer Assistance Programs, which are basically the access companies have to mental health resources, right, they won't do it. Because there is this underlying fear of, you know, does this mean there's something wrong with me? Or the you know, what happens now that my company knows that I'm going to therapy, you know, what, what's that going to mean? Because while you know our organizations have some people that are understanding their organizations also have other people that may not be and have all their own stigmas and shame swirling around in their head, you know, regarding mental health, and and that's in companies that have access to it, you still have this hurdle for people to want to take that step. I think some of us I go into therapy like I did it because if I didn't do it, I saw that I saw my kids future and I did not like my kids future and I had been studying it for like on the self help journey for quite some time like, well, the next step is is I need like, I need help. I need help getting through the rest. And the deeper, more painful parts of it. And that was proactive for most people, they're going along with the same ideas, like you said, like we talked about, like, I've just never been taught that it matters or that I need to or that, you know, the only people that need therapy are ones that have mental health illnesses, you know, but that's not that's not true. And that's the language that we're trying to change for people. Right.

Margaret Rutherford:

Right, exactly. And as you were talking, I was thinking about some other people that I've seen over the years that have managed to overcome some of that fear by saying, you know, if this mean, what's the worst thing that could happen? And then we kind of go along that range of thought or that that thought pattern and say, you know, I, I want to have hope that I can be there for my family, or I can be a more fulfilled person, if that means I need to change something professionally. Now, you know, money doesn't grow on trees. And I realized that that is a factor more than realize. But yeah, I think certainly our culture is trying to talk about this. Again, in the documentary, The me you can't see they talk about the Apple Watch two episodes, but they say the question is not what's wrong with you? The question is what's happened to you? Yep. And so and acknowledging that this is not about a deficit, that's, you know, this kind of trauma, as you were talking about both big t little tease, it's called in my business is that big trauma, little trauma, is that, you know, not mental illness can be caused by a lot of different things, trauma being one of them. But not everyone who experiences trauma develops a categorical mental illness, you know, more like this guy who said, I just get mad, you know, and it's, it's, it's a problem, and it's tied with the trauma, but it's, it's, you know, anybody he's not classically depressed, he doesn't fit that criteria.

Amee Quiriconi:

Right. Right. And that's actually more common. I mean, that's what I think that a lot of, we've we've, we've created, you know, in the past, we've talked about it as you're fine, or you're mentally ill, right? It's black or white. Right? Right. And I didn't get a diagnosis, either, because you didn't want one because you didn't want the stigma and the you know, the red flag planted on your forehead that says, You've got a problem and you're you can't function as an adult, and you kept it to yourself, or you just didn't have anything that would be diagnostically determined to be something that would be you know, categorized as is an illness, but there's a lot of people walking, and we all like, I don't think that I would get a mental illness diagnosis either. But that doesn't mean my life was great. And I didn't have problems.

Margaret Rutherford:

No, no, no. And in that, of course, the interesting thing is insurance will only cover for mental illnesses through these things called v codes, which are basically things like parental neglect, and domestic abuse. And these things, and when I first came into graduate school, I was listing out I was listing all these v codes, because that's what I was seeing. And then we got I was working for said, Don't you realize that insurance won't pay for this? And that's it? No, nobody's talked to me about that in graduate school. So you have to give somebody a diagnosis, if they've if they're going to get insurance coverage, it doesn't mean you lie about it, it means that, you know, you find the diagnosis that they most accurately represent. I mean, occasionally, I've looked at someone and said, I really can't diagnose you with anything. But that is, you know, their diagnoses are really can be very gentle. There's one called adjustment disorder with mixed emotional features. And, you know, you tend to use that one a lot. But I do want to say before I go on, for anyone who's listening to this from Arkansas, or who loves Arkansas, Arkansas is just, it's just a, you know, it's an interesting state to live in. We have a very, I live in a university town, and there are a lot of people who know a whole lot about mental health and, and yet, it is a more rural state where a lot of the understanding of things still have a long way to I have a long way to go.

Amee Quiriconi:

Oh, yeah. And I will and I grew up in Kansas, so I fully understand where you know, every town is like, literally like an island, you can be 1015 miles away from the next town, and you'll never travel there unless you absolutely have to live in these little pocketed communities. And, and there is like, you know, there's a, I would say it's back in time, but it is like there is something you know, true to that a lot of people that are just, you know, built around fortitude. I think sometimes we talk about intergenerationally. You know, we're talking about states that actually experienced, you know, the dustbowl in the depression, and you said at the top of the list is agricultural jobs. That's right. Well, those agricultural jobs are in these rural states. You know, you know, these are Farmers the end, you know, people that work on farms, maybe tied to the same business that their own family has had for generation after generation. profitability is weak. You know, I mean, it's not a living that you can get in. And sometimes, you know, depending on the person, I think it can just seem like it's just hopeless, it's like, you don't see anything else that you can do, or, you know, a future for yourself, because your obligation was to take on the family business, and work at it, you know, on your own. So. And that seems like that would be a challenging, you know, career, like, how do you get to people that are just already isolated from the world, and safely introduce something new to them, such as their mental health and well being, and resources and access to it? I think that's like, you know, that's a phenomenal challenge to think about solving.

Margaret Rutherford:

Yes, you know, I've both worked at our community clinic here in in Arkansas, and then I've done a lot of volunteer work at the free health center, and it is working with one, they are so incredibly grateful. And they're there because they do recognize things. But they also will say to me, you know, I can't talk about this with anybody but you because my family won't understand. They just say get over this, what happens to everybody? And so I you know, it is it will be I think it's better than it used to be. But I so love your position on we really need to put the responsibility on. Businesses, I before the pandemic hit, I had been asked to speak at a it was kind of a stretch it was for these managers of art centers. And they had a huge convention. And well, huge was big. And they asked me to speak about this perfectly in depression, I kind of looked at him and said, Well, okay, I'm but how do you think and they said exactly what you just said, you know, they not only need to be educated about what depression can look like, in all its forms, and it doesn't necessarily look like the melancholic or the angry person in the corner that, you know, punches in at nine and leaves at five, and it doesn't have any friends and all that kind of thing. It's also the person who is highly successful and pressured and looking like he's an A plus, or she is an A plus employee. And yet, you know, they are really suffering so, and to talk about the importance of that kind of mental mental health awareness. I knew that something was changing when I was asked to be to a small group at Walmart. It was it was a small group, but it was Walmart. So that was good.

Amee Quiriconi:

Yeah, yeah, no, that is really good. You know, I was sitting there thinking about, you know, with these top careers, or these industries, where, you know, the Suicide is the highest, there are still professional organizations within them. And so, you know, I was sitting there thinking, like, how do you get to farmers? Well, I know I live in a small farm community outside of Seattle, like it's a bedroom community, and it's a farm community. In fact, this is where, you know, for a couple of years, I actually owned a farm out here and Well, yeah, and actually introduced, what's it called? COVID squat, Hall mesh, no.

Margaret Rutherford:

Amish. My son actually lived in Seattle for a while, and I actually been there.

Amee Quiriconi:

lovely town got great stories. Yeah. And so you know, one of the things that I did a few years ago is I published a book on how to, you know, how to do agritourism weddings on rural properties in order to help increase profitability because it is a way of being able to make more money. And you know, these farmers really do like to go to like Farm Bureau meetings. And you know, and there are so there are these ways and I'm just sitting here like, my brain is like swirling around, like, you know, with these industries, and can you read them off again real cuz I'd be more than happy to. Yeah, go ahead. Yeah, he wants the listeners to what? Well I cuz any listeners that might know people in this field or maybe identify with this field, this is where I want them to kind of have some awareness level. So go go ahead and go through the show. Again, number one is farmer farmer farmworkers are farmers and anyone in agriculture, number two, carpenters, miners, electricians, and basically construction workers.

Margaret Rutherford:

Number three is mechanics. Number four is any kind of line work or factory workers. Then then number five is architects and engineers. Then it goes on to number six. By the way, the first the highest suicide rate in women is when they are police officers or correction officers, and the second is lawyers. Number six again, with men being dominant police and other Protective Services, firefighters paramedics. Number seven is artists, creative people. Number eight is computer programmers. Number nine is transportation workers. I mean your bus driver, your your subway operator, your train, you know, operator. Number 10 is again corporate exact. So you can see this shift between blue collar and white collar 11 is lawyers number 12 is medical professionals any kind number 13 is scientists interesting. Number 14 is accountants were 50 or any any kind of thing nor 15 is nursing and number 16 is clergy.

Amee Quiriconi:

Wow. So the top 10 are blue collar professional, right? dominated by men, except for architects where Yeah, with the exception of architects, but even then, you know, my experience going through I have an architectural engineering degree. It's still a heavily like the true form of architecture. Still a lot of more men in the field. Oh, yeah.

Margaret Rutherford:

You're in me. Yeah. architecture school here. And they have also Yeah, I'm often that a lot of those students. It's so stressful. They come in for therapy. So

Amee Quiriconi:

yeah, I remember my roommate. She and I had known each other since we were teenagers. And she went into interior architecture and like we barely saw each other because she was in studio the whole time doing project after project and, you know, so it's Don't get me started on architectural programs. So Oh, my gosh, yeah, that's pretty astonishing. And so, you know, when we were talking about I know, when you were, the first topic came up, I was zeroing in like, you were on the doctors and the lawyers and the, you know, those high conflict fields, but to find out that, you know, those are important, obviously, but they don't even crack the top 10 in terms of the career you know, the careers of the industries that see the hired the highest rates of, of suicide. Now, I wonder if the differences I'm just speculating here, but let's talk about access to mental health resources, right, your top 10 tend to come from like I said, companies in my experience, don't have human resources departments, how they rub your dirt in it, go for it, you know, deal with it, don't be a sissy, or whatever derogative road you want to use to describe somebody who wants to share feelings. And but once you get to corporate, you start getting access not only to money to pay for therapy, but possibly business structures and organizations that actually offer it or have a culture that maybe is more welcoming to it. And I wonder out loud, if that may be why some you know, the breaking point at 10 is because you've got better access.

Margaret Rutherford:

I think the I think the researchers would agree with you, they talked a lot about with farmers, pesticide, so some sort of neurological issues. You know, when we see who else is on the list here, carpenters, I mean, electricians, I mean, that kind of that kind of works also very dangerous. A lot of times, construction workers, mechanics, I mean, you know, the other thing that strikes me is that, although a lot of those people either work, you know, in small business or work by themselves, even as contractors, it's very dependent on economics. So you can you're not really, you know, you're not really in control of how, of what level of work you can do. I mean, it depends on where you are, I guess some people I guess, always, you know, mechanics are but it you know, I don't know if it's about level of education.

Unknown:

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Margaret Rutherford:

I would have to look at that. I don't know if level, I mean, if true level of education has much to do with it, I would imagine it it does. Again, I think more access to resources you know, the the less quote unquote education you have formal education you have probably the less likely you are to look to more educated people, mental health professionals, for example, to think oh, I can trust these people. You know, that's you know, when I'm when I'm working in in centers where I'm more of those folks are there. I you know, my upbringing was in a small southern town and like I say, my dad was in my granddad was in lumber. My dad was the local funeral director. And I watched my dad deal with so many different kinds of people and I hope that I've developed a way of trying to just be with and try to understand you know, another point of view my my husband's family, were farmers and lumbermen and in lumber in the rural Missouri. So, you know, it's, it, there's an under Standing have, you know, that that environment can often actually as we were talking about it, I think that it can be socially, very, very protective or, you know, we take care of our own kind of thing,

Amee Quiriconi:

mistrust, their skepticism, and it's very outsiders, a lot of mistrust.

Margaret Rutherford:

And so, I think, you know, when I can talk about things that people sense in me that I at least have some working knowledge of it, that that's helpful, I just admit, you know, how, how does the chicken lay an egg. And I just admit my complete ignorance about it. I don't know how it doesn't crack. And so, you know, it's, it's, I let them be the teacher in the expert for a while, and then I can, maybe they can help them a bit can begin to see that I'm not coming from a judgmental place I'm coming from, hey, this is something else for you to consider.

Amee Quiriconi:

Yeah, well, and that, you know, one of the things when you're talking about like trauma informed practices or trauma informed, you know, applying it to organizations and leadership, one, one of the principles of creating a trauma informed or trauma sensitive, you know, school or prison or, or healthcare business or company, is actually integrating the survivors, the trauma survivors into it, because of the not only can trauma survivors be the real faces of the, you know, and, and be brave to share their experiences, but, you know, a trauma response. And I had just read one of the research studies here, and they were talking about, you know, what are cognitive responses to traumas, and one of them is to think that we're alone. You know, it's normal for a trauma person or trauma survivor to believe that they are just by themselves, and no one could possibly understand, or no one has ever experienced it. And, and so that isolation is this, you know, you just kind of don't want to talk about it. And don't believe that you that there is anybody and I think that one of the reasons why you know, my show in particular, and why the work that you do, and what other people when we talk about stuff like this out in public, is that people realize, Oh, my God, like you're going through this, too, oh, my God, you've been through this as well. And so I'm not alone. And then it builds that trust. And that because it's it's not just that I'm an expert, and I'm talking at you with facts and figures, right? I'm relating to you, as a human who has felt all the fields and have gone through the, you know, the crying and the pain and the anger and all that. And, and so when I'm talking about an experience, it means that hopefully you connect with it in your way. And then you build that that in there. And that would be I mean, to me is like that would be a powerful inroad, because you can't just have an expert come in and try to train everybody on how to be more emotionally intelligent.

Margaret Rutherford:

No, no. And and Shawna Springer, again, Doc Springer, her, I was fascinated with her book, it's called warrior. And I can't remember the subtitle, but quite long as I recall, but she has learned she has just been steeped in that military culture in what she has done. For example, She uses the term, oh, you're going through a sniper attack, when you are experiencing a rush of emotion that seems unexpected, and you don't know what to do with it, and you go into fight or flight, she has incorporated military terminology into her work so that people know exactly what she's talking about all of a sudden, you know, and certainly if I were lucky enough to work with a farm bureau or something like that, in fact, maybe maybe that's what I'll do when I retire. You know, from what I'm doing right now, I would love to try to go into the community and learn and, and actually make a difference there. But it's kind of like, on a win win. When I'm working with a Mormon. In fact, I'm working with several Mormons right now, a couple Mormon families. I asked them, send me some links and let me I've read the Book of Mormon, I'm trying to understand their way of thinking about things so I don't push my you know, Presbyterian, or at least that's where I was grew up way of thinking about things. And so if I'm working with a Jewish person, or I want to understand what, what their languages for something and I that's, if you're therapists out there listening to this, that's what I really ask you to do is to try to gain the trust of the person and then ask them so in your world What does this look like? You know, what kind of words would you use? What kind of experiences a guy comes to mind that was a paramedic, and he was having a lot of trouble. There was a certain incident that he couldn't forget. And he was telling me his story. And I said, Well, you know, have you had other what's your history of, of seeing, you know, really bad things happening to you? And he was talking to me about this. And I said, Well, there was at one time that my god scalped, but that's not really a big deal. I said, Excuse me. What do you tell me? He goes, Oh, that happened on the forum all the time, I got too close to a saw or something. And I, you know, scraped a big piece of my forehead off, and I was like, Okay, so we have definitely different definitions of trauma. You know, because he goes, Oh, you know, that was just and then he went on to explain to me, what more he thought of his trauma. And it helped me understand his his toleration point was were different than the city girl that I am. So, you know, that I just think that if, again, if there are any mental health professionals listening, that you don't walk in and assume that your model of the world is theirs, it's just not. Right.

Amee Quiriconi:

Yeah. And I will tell you like, talking with C, PTSD survivors and therapists across the board, you know, the tolerance level for people that have experienced, you know, just compounded trauma throughout their whole life. Right, not just one incident like one flashbulb moment. But just on and on, and they No, no different have deep reservoirs for handling tough stuff. In fact,

Margaret Rutherford:

it was interesting that when the pandemic first started occurring, those folks did much better than the average Joe Joe's ad, because, you know, they had this these this skill set, does a guy know exactly what it is, you're always waiting to be triggered? Because you don't know what's out there. And you know, you're scared to breathe, literally. And so, you know, but now, as it wore on, I think they caught up with people who have struggled in their own way. But yeah, they would say I did find this and bother me at all. So

Amee Quiriconi:

yeah, no, when one of the things you were talking about, I just wanted to circle back to this, because it's it popped into my head, and I wanted to bring this up, because you talked about economics of some of those positions. And when I think about it, like I said, like with farming, farming is an up and down. It's not a steady cash flow, you know, one season can be great, and another season can be terrible. And then you're making insurance claims for crop loss or whatever it is. and financial strain is, is really heavy on those top 10 careers. Right? construction goes up and down. You know, I lived through the recession, I lost a manufacturing company during the recession, like because it was all about the building construction industry, real estate comes and goes. And, and that is a you know, that's a trait that's a trauma in the present life that we also reveal. And so when we're talking, you and I are talking about trauma, you know, we're focused on what has happened in the past, but the reality is, is that some of its in the past, but it is living in experiencing it right now. Exactly. And that's where like I said, from a work from a work level, I believe work contributes to it more than we ever really go, Oh, my God, you're absolutely right. It actually is, and changing that. But the scarcity, the financial scarcity is a huge burden, because nothing's free, you got to pay rent, you got to buy food, you got to, you know, maybe you gotten into debt, you know, because there at times hasn't been enough money or you've just been, you know, you know, not keeping track or, or whatever it is. And so it seems like, you know, in these careers where you're you go up and down with the economy, man, it's a roller coaster, you know?

Margaret Rutherford:

Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. And that kind of how many people have I see not in the farming community, not even in that community who have gotten themselves into financial debt, and they kill themselves because they have figured out a way to not to make it look like they didn't kill themselves, and they their spouses, get the insurance and whatever. So, you know, that has happened a lot. And in this kind of shame around, not being able to take care of yourself or your family, mostly your family is, you know, another career that was on this list a little further down, were real estate agents. And I think like you said, they are just as much as some of these other professions, you know, going to be affected by financial crises and how did you handle all of that losing the business and Luke, you know,

Amee Quiriconi:

I handled it poorly. Well, so what happened was it the struggle of the loss is what caused my marriage to end. So because my my husband at the time, and I and I talked about this in my book, it's a story that I actually share, you know, I, he was like, just give it up and, and, you know, quit just close the business down. And I felt so unfulfilled in achieving what I wanted to get out of that plus, I had employees that I did not want to let go during a recession. I mean, there was just this heavy heart I had. And I actually I really despised him, for him treating my business as if it was no big deal. And it would be too easy for me to walk away. Now I made an emotional decision. And in retrospect, it would have been easier to have grieved the loss of the business, if I had just closed it down and moved on and did something but it was such a big part of who I was, and my identity as a person, that it just wasn't possible. So I ended up actually going into a partnership with another person. And another person actually was very abusive. And that is what broke me was actually the day to day mental abuse that I dealt with there coming home to the partner who thought I should have given it all up. So I had no emotional support there. And then on top of that, I had two kids, two little kids, you know, they weren't five and, and and let's see five and three. Oh, wow, there were so how I handled it was left my marriage, my husband became the custodial parent, because I had no capacity there, I tried to keep the business going, I lost that eventually, I moved out to the country. And I moved into an abusive relationship that I would go through for seven years. And it would be how I would come to where I am today would be to go the downward spiral of losing something that was important like that. So when I say handled poorly, I, you know, it wasn't easy to do, I couldn't just walk away from it. And it was it was hard. And you know, and I I never considered suicide, but I did make some very unhealthy decisions for myself for my mental health. And, and needed to, again, that's where I came full circle to back to a place of being able to do that, again, walk away from a business walk away from a bad relationship regain myself become a great mom, you know, the mom, I needed to be learned where I, you know, where, why I struggled with mom, because of my lack of modeling, understanding my trauma and my influence and then saying, okay, here's your second shot, you're up to bat take a swing at it, and let's go for it. Yeah. But yeah, it was hard. And I watched a lot of, you know, a lot of ups and downs around me, people in the architecture community, you know, that got laid off by hundreds in the Seattle area, hundreds, and many of them went on to be entrepreneurs, like they found that as an opportunity to start over. But you know, Seattle is one of the communities that has the highest rates of suicide, you know, is it really? Yeah, it really is. Some of it may actually be I mean, they've speculated that it could just be because not just because I'm not going to diminish it to that. But, you know, sunshine and daylight matters to our well being as well. And this is one of those communities where there isn't a lot of it. But we also, you know, pontificate like this is a passive aggressive community, culturally, people don't speak up, they don't talk out. They keep a lot to themselves. You know, it's not as kind of direct. And you know, does it is that a culture that's been involved by the people who've moved here? Is it a culture that's just arrived? You know, there are a lot of, you know, mental health resources, there are some therapists here, but it's difficult to get therapists, a lot of computer programming up in this area. So that's on that list of one of those job careers. You know, I mean, there's and, you know, it's a blend of the, the rural community with the city community, it's still very small state, you know, in terms of like, you know, not a California or Texas or New York, or, you know, any of those places. But, yeah, Seattle, sadly, has, you know, high rates, you know, as a municipal area, so, I didn't know that. Yeah. But, well, this has been, I mean, this is a great guy, this is an enlightening conversation, and I you know, and to come out of this, to be able to understand, you know, and to see really, where these breaks are, you know, in these professional careers that that have a higher incidences of this, of, you know, the suicide rates and the depression and, you know, like we said, with their careers that kill, I think this will be pretty enlightening for a lot of people, you know, to be able to

Margaret Rutherford:

really hope so, you know, one of the directions of my own podcast I open every, every episode with this kind of greeting, which is, you know, I'm trying to reach those of you might already be interested in psychological issues, maybe you're in therapy that are those of you who just been diagnosed with something you're looking for answers, but also for those of you who tell your friends kind of laughing you I'd never darken the door. One of those crazy people. Yeah. But shrinks? Yeah, yeah, they're shrinks. But you know, you're just curious enough or unhappy enough to listen and is actually been quite meaningful to get an email every month or six weeks to say I was one of those people. And now you know, because your language is just very direct and you know, no nonsense and kind of, you know, use analogies like getting the rock out of your shoe instead of the psychoanalytic approach to this problem is and it's just kind of, that's what we're we're going for is to try to make things accessible. So to make mental health accessible, and and I appreciate you having me on and then I can do that here. And I love your work. I mean, I've I was so thrilled when you asked me to be this might actually my third visit here, guys,

Amee Quiriconi:

it is. Yep. So

Margaret Rutherford:

I was delighted. You're, you're smart, and you're well read, and you're caring and all those things. So I've always learned from you. And I'm delighted to be here.

Amee Quiriconi:

Oh, thank you so much. And the links to your podcast for everybody that's listening will be in the show notes so you can get to it. Great. I think that, you know, podcasts have been a fantastic addition to mental health awareness in the sense that it's people can privately and safely, emotionally safely start to explore mental health. And nobody has to know you know, and that's sometimes that's usually the first you know, thing that somebody does you even buying a book, you know, is sitting on the shelf somewhere that somebody else is about right. So, podcasts, you put your earbuds in and go on a walk, you can go into drive, you can do it anywhere and you can start on your tractor you can you know, be working on a job as an electrician, you can do all that stuff. Yeah, absolutely. And I gotta tell you with an with a an Arkansas accent that does make it pretty relatable if you come from my accident. When I go back home and visit back in my hometown, Yeah, boy, it slips right back out again. Yeah, there you go. Awesome. Well, Margaret, thank you so much for this. I appreciate it. And so like I said, anybody that wants to check out Margaret's show and listen, you can hear she's she's amazing. You care a lot too. And that matters. And I'm glad that you and I are you know, we're teamed up together now to be able to do good things for people. So I am thanks so much. Awesome.