Suicide Differently

Over 600 delegates at the National Suicide Prevention conference in Melbourne in July 2019 heard one speaker almost invoke the “Safety Differently” concept to suicide prevention (Hands off, its ours, Ed.). This showed that suicide prevention approaches are maturing, but that advocates continue to operate in a public health/mental health silo. Several speakers acknowledged that … Continue reading “Suicide Differently”

Suicide prevention at Victoria’s Royal Commission

The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System began the first of a couple of days focusing on suicide prevention by reminding the audience that there are three kinds of interventions: Universal – population level wellness Selective – those who have suicidal thoughts and behaviours Indicated – those who are engaging in suicidal behaviour Occupational …

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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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An OHS-based investigation of suicides should identify new control options

Why is rail-related suicide an occupational health and safety (OHS) issue? I looked into the issue of rail-related suicide when writing an OHS chapter for the Metro Trains Melbourne’s (MTM) bid for a franchise renewal for running trains on the metropolitan network. Each rail-related suicide, MTM describes these as trespasser suicides, creates major work-related psychological …

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The US discovers job strain and suicide

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recently written about suicide prevention and the organisational structures that can contribute to poor mental health.  The prominence of the CDC should result in a spate of media reports about this NIOSH Science Blog article. Evidence of the link between the two has been building in Australia for …

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Paula Schubert was bullied before her suicide

In November 2016, 53-year old Paula Schubert hanged herself. On July 25 2018 the Northern Territory Coroner Greg Cavanagh described the behaviour of managers at her employer, the Norther Territory Department of Children and Families/Territory Families as bullying. The full Coronial Findings are an important read for any organisation to understand how managerial activities and …

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Suicide and OHS media campaigns should achieve tangible outcomes

The benefits of advertising are notoriously difficult to quantify unless there is a specific product being promoted.  Advertising about occupational health and safety (OHS) is usually measured in the level of awareness of the viewers with questions such as Are you aware of WorkSafe? What does WorkSafe do? When we mention WorkSafe to you, what …

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