Workplace suicide prevention guidelines released

Last week on World Mental Health Day, the first “National Guidelines for Workplace Suicide Prevention” were launched. This is a critical and relevant resource to serve as both foundation and supplement to work currently prioritized within many industry groups (e.g., medicine, veterinary medicine, and trades and construction), and to assist other workplaces newly attuned to the need to develop programs and support networks.

The development of these guidelines was an undertaking of the American Association of Suicidology, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and United Suicide Survivors International. We encourage you and your organization to take the time to learn more about how to best support mental health of employees by downloading and sharing the guidelines, and creating ways to best support employees, their families, and the communities we live in. The guidelines are intended to benefit several different employer groups including leadership, implementors (such as human resource, safety and wellness professionals), collaborators, investors, evaluators, and peers (such as co-workers, friends and family who want to help).

The guidelines, designed to be cross-cutting through private and public sectors, large and small employers, and all industries will:

  1. Give employers and professional associations an opportunity to pledge to engage in the effort of suicide prevention. (Sign the pledge here:
  2. Demonstrate an implementation structure for workplace best practices in a comprehensive, public health approach.
  3. Provide data and resources to advance the cause of workplace suicide prevention.
  4. Bring together diverse stakeholders in a collaborative public-private model.
  5. Make recommendations for easily deployed tools, training and resources for both short-term action and comprehensive and sustained strategy.

Also available on the website is a pledge for employers. Here is the first part of the pledge:

Be Vocal, Be Visible, Be Visionary

Be a Part of the Workplace Suicide Prevention Solution

The National Guidelines for Workplace Suicide Prevention aims to empower work organizations and professional associations to support people experiencing personal distress and despair related to life transitions and mental health conditions that can increase risk for suicide, while also working to reduce the negative effects of job strain that also contribute to increased risk.

Workplace leaders are essential partners in the effort of suicide prevention. We need your innovative thinking and results-oriented action to build sustained and comprehensive strategies that make suicide prevention a health and safety priority. This investment is both an effective business strategy for your workforce and has been linked with improved work performance, retention, and employee morale, while also being the right thing to do for workers and the larger community.

Thus, we ask workplace leaders, like yourself, to publicly pledge your support on behalf of your organization and  join a community that is leading the way for new suicide prevention solutions involving businesses, organizations, and professional associations. Download the full pledge.

We look forward to collaborating with stakeholders, employers and co-workers as we continue to learn together how to best support mental health and suicide prevention in our workplaces, and within our communities.

Note: Featured image credit