Reluctance to address mental health notifications

Another example of the unwillingness of occupational health and safety (OHS) regulators feeling able to affect change in workplace mental health by looking outside the workplace is the United Kingdom’s Health & Safety Executive (HSE). Sadly this position contributes to unnecessarily stigmatising a legitimate workplace hazard. On a recent episode of the Safety and Health …

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Look deeper and read wider when trying to understand

This Forbes article on the France Telecom suicides, written by Jack Kelly, is doing the rounds on LinkedIn with various lessons identified by various commentators. Sadly Kelly dilutes the significance of the suicides and the jailing of executives by implying that the action in France is a special case, as if the executives were trapped …

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Suicide challenges the OHS profession

Safety and risk professionals often need to consider the “worst case scenario”.  But we hesitate to look at the worst case scenario of workplace mental health – suicide.  On 26 August 2011, Lifeline presented a seminar to Victorian public servants that was brilliant, confronting and worrying. Lifeline campaigns on suicide prevention and it seems to … Continue reading “Suicide challenges the OHS profession”

Suicide advice shows reactive thinking

Workplace suicides are in the news at the moment due to Foxconn and, to a lesser extent, France Telecome.  There is enough media attention for companies to start to evaluate their own risk exposures. Through LinkedIn, Tom Boudreau of R&R Insurance Services, issued the following advice under the title “Do Employers Have a Duty to Prevent Workplace … Continue reading “Suicide advice shows reactive thinking”

Work harder? You must be mad

On 24 January 2010, the Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, encouraged all Australians to increase their “productivity growth“.  But what if increased productivity could result in developing a mental disorder? The February 2010 edition of the  Harvard Mental Health Letter includes a report that lists the following key points: “Symptoms of mental health disorders may be different … Continue reading “Work harder? You must be mad”

Executive resigns over work-related suicides

According to various media reports, a senior executive of France Telecome has resigned due to the mismanagement of the organisational restructure of the company which has been happening for almost two years and that, some say, has led to suicides. One report says: “France Telecom’s deputy chief executive Louis-Piere Wenes had faced calls to resign … Continue reading “Executive resigns over work-related suicides”