Today on World Mental Health Day, the American Association of Suicidology (AAS), American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), and United Suicide Survivors International (United Survivors), announce their collaboration and release of the first ‘National Guidelines for Workplace Suicide Prevention.’ These Guidelines — built by listening to the expertise of diverse groups like HR, employment law, employee assistance professionals, labor and safety leaders, and many people who had experienced a suicide crisis while they were employed — will help employers and workplaces become proactively involved in suicide prevention in the workplace. Employers ready to become vocal, visible and visionary and who are ready to take the pledge to make suicide prevention a health and safety priority visit WorkplaceSuicidePrevention.com.Read More
Are you in HR? An employment lawyer? Someone with lived experience with mental health or suicide who was working at the time you experienced a mental health issue while employed? If so — we want to hear from you! Please, take our 15-20 minute survey. This research project is a collaborative effort among Dr. Anthony Fulginiti of the University of Denver, Judge (Ret.) Mary McClatchey, the Employers Council and United Suicide Survivors International (through me!).Read More
The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) might be one of the best kept secrets for many employers. Instead, EAPs should be resources widely publicized to help encourage managers, employees, and often their family members (when benefits extend to family) so that their support services for personal and workplace problems that have the potential to negatively affect work can promote vibrant workers and mitigate risk. Many employers simply “check the box” when signing up for this benefit, figuring health insurance will cover the mental health needs of their employees; however, most employers really don’t know what the EAP services entail or the value the services can bring to a workplace.Read More
The person most likely to save your life from suicide is someone you already know. Sometimes it may be a family member or a supervisor. Often its a peer.Read More
Today the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention's Workplace Task Force in partnership with United Suicide Survivors International and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention shared preliminary data from a national survey on workplace suicide prevention.Read More
The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation announced today that it will be partnering with Dr. Sally Spencer-Thomas...to explore gaps and strengths in firefighter suicide prevention. This comprehensive evaluation will help set the direction for a new national suicide prevention program.Read More
I have often said, “Hope is the antidote to suicide.”
I realize that the word “hope” – like “love” and “support” and “leadership” – is often experienced as cliché, having lost its power and meaning from overuse. I would like to reclaim it and use it like Wonder Woman’s shield (goodness I love that movie) to defiantly deflect pessimism, bitterness and negativity coming at us from all angles.
As advocates for suicide prevention and mental health promotion, we must be warriors of hope. Now is the perfect time to explore how we can learn to build hope as a practice – like pieces of protective armor that protect us as we forge our way onward to the frontiers of what is possible....Read More
The stoicism of farmers helps them power through hardship and harsh environmental conditions often in great isolation, but when it comes to their mental health, this power through approach can be life threatening. It’s not surprising then that “farming, fishing and forestry” is the industry with the highest suicide rates (McIntosh et al, 2016)...Read More
Firefighters are a unique breed. They run into burning buildings when everyone else is trying to escape. They respond to gruesome medical calls. And they do it all as a team. There’s a brother/sisterhood that comes with being part of this elite crew, and while there are many positive things that result from that connection, it can also create a tough guy mentality that leads them to believe they can’t or shouldn’t seek outside help when they’re struggling. As one firefighter told me, “We literally depend on each other’s lives to be mentally sound. It is our strength to compartmentalize, stay decisive, and move on that is valued in this work.”Read More
...One example of a “caring for others” profession is veterinary medicine and animal welfare. Animal rescue professionals and veterinarians fit Thomas Joiner’s model of why people die by suicide: Constant exposure to death and feelings of hopelessness lead to an acquired ability for lethal self-injury, and they have access to lethal means in the form of drugs.
People are often drawn to the demanding professions because of their love of animals, but they soon discover that a large part of the job involves ending the lives of beloved pets and otherwise health animals. In fact, vets come face-to-face with death at five times the rate of physicians. Both veterinarians and animal rescue professionals are witness to the agonizing situation of pet owners choosing to have their companions euthanized because treatment is too expensive or too difficult or because breeding was uncontrolled and the family has become overwhelmed....Read More