New data on workplace suicides should change the mental health at work discussion

“No one should die at work” is a common statement at Worker Memorial Services every year. Occupational health and safety (OHS), in particular, uses death as a starting point for reflection and sometimes action. Workplace death is a recognised worst-case scenario and has long been established as a benchmark for measuring OHS progress. [This article …

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Workplace suicides must be included in mental health discussions

[This article discusses suicide] WorkSafe Victoria has charged a government agency with breaching occupational health and safety (OHS) laws over the suicide of an employee. The UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has a different perspective. Several OHS researchers, academics and trade union lobbyists are battling the HSE to become more involved with investigating suicides …

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Workplace suicides should be both notified and investigated

Why does this blog keep writing about workplace suicides? For decades, occupational health and safety (OHS) policy has been determined and measured by traumatic physical fatalities. Psychosocial policies need to be determined and measured by work-related suicides. But to achieve this starting point, the stigma of suicide needs addressing. Recently Professor Sarah Waters and Hilda …

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Workplace suicide at one of the “Big 4” consulting firms

Warning: this article discusses suicide Discussions about workplace mental health are everywhere, including this blog, but workplace suicides are less discussed, even though there is a direct connection between the two themes. This is due to the continuing stigmatisation of suicide, legal caution, reputational preservation and other factors. It is difficult to write about but … Continue reading “Workplace suicide at one of the “Big 4” consulting firms”

Workplace suicides require organisational analyses

Some media reports on the recent suicide of another Australian Federal Police (AFP) officer indicate a change away from the dominant perspective of addressing the individual worker rather than institutional factors. This article is not denying that suicide is a personal decision.  It is an act that most of us do not understand and struggle …

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When Work Kills – new research on workplace suicides

There are many advocates of the importance of a mental health and wellbeing in workplaces.  But few of them address the worst-case scenario for workplace mental health of work-related suicides.  In some cases, the mental health advocates are overly cautious about even speaking the reality, which does not help reduce mental health stigma. In 2016 …

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Workplace suicide reflection

A letter to the Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry (subscription only) has provided a slightly different perspective on the Australia suicide statistics released earlier this year, and some of the reporting on the statistics. This is an important perspective when considering suicide interventions. Allison Milner and Andrew Page note that the Australian Bureau … Continue reading “Workplace suicide reflection”