I was curious as to why our union hasn't done much to help those with this condition? I lost a brother in law to suicide in February who worked long haul and read this article http://ezinearticles.com/?Depression-and-the-Long-Haul-Trucker&id=794936 If this is the case with long haul, it would stand to reason that UPS drivers might be more prone also? I know the average is 1-5 and that was in 2004. With the recession I'm sure it's more like 1-3 now. UPS is also one of the fewer companies out there that fully staffs a night shift. These people tend to have lower serotonin levels which lead to depression. They also work nights which means they tend to not have the benefit of the suns endorphins (http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080417154321AAiV4EU). I realize the the union is not supposed to get involved in management issues, however, I do have a small story about how well UPS handles depression. I've had depression since about grade 5 (so most of my life) and have not had a problem (before my brother in laws death) for at least 7 years. I took my meds and it was all good. Depression is usually due to a chemical imbalance for those who are not familiar with it (that's the basic way of explaining it). After my brother in law killed himself and my sister found the body I received a phone call at 0630 MST (it would have been around 0830 EST where my family is). My father was on the phone and told me that my brother in law had passed away. We automatically (my gf and I) assumed it was a heart attack since he was a VERY big guy. I later found out he had actually hung himself and my sister was the one that found him. This was on a Friday in December. I immediately called my supervisor and told them I couldn't come in to work because of a death in the family. My sups were AMAZING during this time and I hope if they read this that they'll know how thankful I was. Here's where the problems start. For this death, UPS treats it like any other. I had FOUR paid days off to fly home (1 day travel), go to the funeral (2 days), and try to comfort my sister (lets throw that in as 1 day). Where's my time to mourn and come to terms with the situation during this time? I also got 2 extra days off without pay (hadn't worked for a year yet so no benefits or option days). So, a grand total of about 5 days with my family (2 in travel time) and back to work. My sups were pretty understanding but I began to slip into a MAJOR depression. I was cover driving at the time and began bawling my eyes out on road since it was 1930 and all I wanted was to call my sister to make sure she was ok. Of course I couldn't because I was working. I called my sup and he had someone help me out a bit. I later went to get a note requesting only 8 hour days since anything past that added to stress which adds to depression and suicidal thoughts (again, I was not suicidal, just had the thoughts). Anyways, my depot manager asked why I needed only 8 hour days so I told him. I was then brought into the head of western canada's hr office and told I would be paid Wed, Thurs, Fri and to get paper work filled out (which I did immediately) to reinstate to work. This is where it gets cruel and heartless by the big boys in Toronto. I got the paper work filled out then was given more paperwork to fill out and on and on it went for FIVE weeks. Yes, that's 5 weeks without a pay check. I talked to my union in the area and he told me that UPS stance was that it didn't happen at work so therefore they did not need to accomdate me (which they barely did to begin with for the funeral and it was only my immediate sups who had a heart). There was ONE person who tried to have me work 8 hours a day in the depot but someone over her head over rode that. I was also told multiple times by the HR team that UPS had no protocol to follow for this. I was also told by my union guy that, off the record, UPS wanted me to just 'go away and disappear'. I'm wondering how many people in the past, with depression, have actually just 'disappeared' to make it convenient for UPS? I've read of one so far on this website. Well, after five weeks of living off my VISA (which does wonders for depression by the way when you don't have an income and are already depressed) I got my doctor to just write I was 100% fit for duty. Of course I wasn't. My sups were nice enough to give me some easy cover routes (again, they have big hearts even if they are a pain in the butt sometimes) until I completely recovered. After a month of duties I went to talk to my HR guy again who informed me someone north of the city I'm in was found driving around without a seatbelt. The situation for his depression was almost identical but since he hasn't dealt with it most of his life he was just hoping to smash into something and die. UPS termed him but then our union fought and had him reinstated with only 1 week suspension. This guy was luckly a long time driver who had benefits so was able to take advantage of them. During this time I collected EVERY doctors note and document UPS requested from me. I was taking advantage of the councelling UPS has setup as an outside source (had a note from the psychologist there saying 8 hours was ok), had a note from the head of psych ward in the emergency room stating I was NOT suicidal and was ok for 8 hours work. Had a note from multiple doctors who I had seen, all said 8 hours was ok as well as a bit of a buff in my meds. Every note also stated that being home is the worse thing for someone with depression. Well, that's the story...I just had a few questions though. 1. Why doesn't UPS have protocols to do with this? My theory is that if they acknowledge it then they have to do something about it which means they just want to ignore it to cover their butts 2. If UPS doesn't want to acknowledge it, why doesn't the teamster union acknowledge it? Especially since a lot of long haul drivers are teamsters and are a lot more prone to suffer from it. 3. Should it not be standard protocol in EVERY teamster contract to have people with this taken care of since we're more prone to it then the majority of society. After all, it can, has, and will cause death (sometimes). 4. If SOMEONE acknowledges it eventually, should it be put into the next contract? 5. If it is, what should it state? I remember reading recently a post of someone also going through the same thing I did. I couldn't find the other post though. Sorry if it was long winded, I just wanted to show how brutal it is for someone with a mental illness to try to get back to work due to beauracracy BS and the stigma attached to it. Through the whole time I kept thinking of the Simpsons episode where Mr. Burns tells Smithers to 'Unleash the lawyers' because that's exactly what UPS did.