The suicide of a colleague can have a profound emotional effect in the workplace, and it's important for you and your co-workers to support each other. Some people may struggle with guilt and unanswered questions about what happened and what more they could have done to help.

Consider talking with a counsellor to help you cope with the suicide. Your employer is likely to provide counselling through your company's Employee Assistance Program (EAP). If not, speak to your GP to get a referral or call the beyondblue Support Service for information about mental health professionals in your local area.

Additional guidance for managers

Managers play a critical role in setting the tone for how the rest of the workplace will respond to a suicide. You can ensure that employees get the help they need. 

  • Be prepared to respond to a death by suicide. Ask your EAP or HR team if they offer counselling referrals following a suicide.
  • Allow colleagues to grieve and direct them to the appropriate support.
  • Ensure appropriate policies and procedures are in place for managing a crisis situation should a colleague die by suicide.
  • StandBy Response Service provides 24/7 support to people bereaved by suicide via a local community-based approach, including tailored workplace responses to suicide. 

The suicide of a co-worker and friend deeply affected Sydney-based police officer John. He shares some ideas to help workplaces plan for traumatic events.