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