There is a rise in the number of workplace suicides. But, on the bright side,businesses can take a number of steps to reduce the risk ofworkplace suicide. The organization Workplace Strategies for MentalHealth recommends the following:

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General

  • Be aware of individual risk factors. These can include previoussuicide attempts; suicide by an acquaintance; addiction orsubstance abuse; mental illness; access to lethal drugs or weapons;or stigma that discourages employees from seeking help.

  • Implement a comprehensive psychological health and safetymanagement system to help improve overall workplace culture and resolve issues moreeffectively.

  • Reduce stigma related to mental health issues so all employeesfeel safe asking for help.

  • Ensure your EAP provides appropriate support andcounseling services to those who may have thoughts of suicide.

  • Ensure that employees are aware of confidential EAP or communityservices that are available to help them.

Training

  • Be prepared and aware by providing suicide interventiontraining.

  • Increase interpersonal and social competency through training instress management and coping skills to help individuals deal withproblems.

  • Raise awareness of organizational and community supports,including expertise through human resource, mental health agenciesor EAP to help managers and union representatives make appropriatereferrals.

  • Resolve workplace issues quickly and effectively to reducefeelings of hopelessness.

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Education

  • Offer evidence-based suicide prevention education to employees.Provide education to help recognize mental health problems, including warningsigns of suicide.

  • Promote awareness that many suicides are preventable; make factsavailable about suicide, risk factors and preventionapproaches.

  • Ensure employees understand that they are not required tointervene or put themselves at risk if they are ever in theposition of responding to a situation of a potential suicide.

  • Expand awareness of mental illness and addiction.

  • Help reduce stigma associated with mental illness, substanceabuse and suicide.

  • Encourage help-seeking behaviors for such problems.

  • Create a caring work environment in which co-workers supporteach other. Promote listening and interpersonal skills to helpindividuals improve their relationships.

Read: Workers fear disclosing a mental health condition

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