(CMR) A German state finance minister, Thomas Schaefer (54), committed suicide yesterday after he expressed his “despair” over how to handle the economic implications of coronavirus.
Schaefer was the finance minister of Germany’s Hesse region and was found dead by suicide at the railway tracks Hochheim, which is near Frankfurt. State governor Volker Bouffier said Sunday that the 54-year-old had become consumed with how to handle the coronavirus crisis sending the global markets into freefall. They also shared that Schaefer, who was Hesse’s finance chief for 10 years, had been working “day and night” to help companies and workers deal with the economic impact of the pandemic.
Hesse is home to Germany’s financial capital Frankfurt, where major lenders such as Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank have their headquarters. The European Central Bank is also located in Frankfurt. Police and prosecutors said factors, including the questioning of witnesses and their own observations at the scene, led them to conclude that Schaefer killed himself.
Schaefer was a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union and had held his position for a decade.
He leaves behind a wife and two children.
The mental stress of this pandemic was also witnessed earlier in the week when numerous videos were circulated showing persons in Italy jumping to their deaths from buildings. Several nurses have also taken their lives as the death toll in that country surpassed 10,000 people.
In the Cayman Islands, any persons having difficulty coping and managing stress during these difficult times can call a new confidential mental health helpline operated by the Cayman Islands Government in collaboration with private partners. The number is 1-800-534-6463 and hours are Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. Additional hours will be added as needed.