Risks is the TUC's weekly newsletter for safety reps and others, sponsored by Thompsons Solicitors.
A trio of US advocacy groups is calling on employers to take a proactive role in suicide prevention in the workplace. The National Guidelines for Workplace Suicide Prevention were developed by the American Association of Suicidology, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and United Suicide Survivors International – with input from experts, union and safety leaders and workers who have experienced a suicide crisis on the job. In 2018, the groups conducted an online survey of 256 people from 41 states and found that 46 per cent of the respondents said they knew at least one friend, co-worker or family member who had attempted suicide, while 43 per cent reported having lost at least one friend to suicide. Additionally, a 2018 analysis from the US government’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concluded that suicides among the US working age population rose 34 per cent from 2000 to 2016. According to the groups, the guidelines – part of an 88-page report – are applicable to small and large employers in all industries and throughout the public and private sectors. “We aim to change the culture of workplaces to reduce elements that cause job strain like sleep disruption, job insecurity and low job control – things shown to be connected to suicide risk,” AAS executive director Colleen Creighton said. “We know these guidelines will not only save lives, but will also alleviate intense emotional suffering by making changes to systems while helping individuals in the workplace.”
National Guidelines for Workplace Suicide Prevention, American Association of Suicidology (AAS), the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and United Suicide Survivors International, October 2019. AAS news release. Safety and Health Magazine.
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