Suicide Prevention - Information for Managers 

As a manager, it is critical that you are prepared and resourced for a suicide in the workplace. No matter how uncomfortable it is to think, it might happen.  Below are some practical suggestions to assist managers in their role of supporting staff and suicide prevention.

If you are concerned that someone is at risk of suicide, seek support immediately. Remember it is important to follow your gut feeling.

If the situation is urgent and you’re concerned you or someone else is in immediate danger, do not leave the person alone, unless you are concerned for your own safety.  

Call the person’s doctor, a mental health crisis service or dial 000 and say that the person’s life is at risk.  

If the person agrees, you could go together to the local hospital emergency department for assessment.

Other services include:


 

Supporting someone at risk of suicide

  • What you can do

Kev and Shane talk about how their managers supported them and share some tips on having a conversation with someone who has attempted suicide or is having suicidal thoughts.

 

 


 

If an employee has taken their life

  • What you can do

 

If someone in your workplace has taken their life, staff will look to you as a leader for guidance in this sad and distressing time. 

It can be useful for managers to develop some understanding of the support services and resources available in this situation. 

 

 

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.

 


 

Supporting someone bereaved by suicide

  • What you can do

 

People cope with grief in different ways. For some, grief can be debilitating and the bereaved person may need time off work. Others may prefer to be at work as a way of coping with their grief.

It's important to understand that, at first, the bereaved person may be in a state of shock and overwhelmed by grief. In addition to sadness, reactions can include problems with concentration and memory, fatigue and loss of confidence. 

Discuss options with your employee about time off work and any changes in duties when they return, and come up with a plan together. Check in regularly to see how they are going. Listen to the response and try to understand.

 


 

Emma shares some of the ways colleagues looked out for her, after her teenage son took his own life.

Tiana talks about going back to work following her best friend's suicide, as well as some tips for providing support.

Leigh returned to work soon after his dad took his own life. He reflects on what employers can do to help someone bereaved by suicide.
Courtney talks about how her HR manager supported her after losing her brother to suicide. Checking in and having a conversation can make a huge difference to the person grieving, helping them feel connected and supported. 

 


 

 


 

Suicide prevention training and resources

  • LivingWorks Australia
    Suicide awareness training programs to improve understanding and help people intervene to support a colleague at risk.

  • Mental Health First Aid
    Courses teach mental health first-aid strategies to members of the public. The training eqips people to support someone developing a mental health problem, or experiencing a mental health-related crisis, until appropriate professional treatment is received or the crisis resolves.

  • Conversations Matter
    A practical online resource to support safe and effective community discussions about suicide.

  • BeyondNow
    A suicide safety planning app that allows people experiencing suicidal thoughts to create a personalised plan and help them stay safe.

  • Managing bereavement, grief and loss
    This e-learning module by Superfriend equips employees and employers with the skills and confidence to support themselves and colleagues experiencing loss.

For information for employees on how they can provide support to any colleagues affected by suicide, see Suicide Prevention.

 

More information on suicide prevention