Making Suicide Prevention a Health and Safety Priority


"Upstream, Midstream, Downstream”

Recommendations for Effective Suicide Prevention

“Bake it in, don’t bolt it on.” - D. Covington, Executive Committee Member of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, on the importance of integrating suicide prevention strategies into existing culture and strengths of organizations.


Prevent Problems from

Happening in the First Place

Shift Workplace Cultural Perspective:

Make mental health and suicide prevention

health and safety priorities. Leadership must

model this, clearly communicate benefits

and answer questions for concern.

Regularly promote mental health practices

and a range of resources – e.g., new

employee orientation, benefits renewal,



Develop Life Skills: Offer training in

conflict resolution, stress management,

communication skills, financial planning,

goal setting, parenting or other skills-based

programs for employees.


Improve Mental Health and Addiction

Knowledge: Deliver regular toolbox talks

and awareness communication on mental

health topics and how to improve wellness.

Consistently link mental health with

wellness and safety programs.


Promote Social Networks: Create a

healthy community and foster genuine

workplace support.



Identify Problems Early

and Connect People to Help

Identify People at Risk: Detect early

symptoms for depression, anxiety,

substance abuse and anger.


Promote Help-Seeking: Promote

resources like the National Suicide

Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255),

provide peer assistance training and

normalize help-seeking behavior.


Increase Access to Quality Care: Provide

affordable mental health services wellversed

in state-of-the-art suicide risk

assessment, management and support

and a range of effective treatment options.




Safe and Compassionate Responses

to Mental Health Crises

Promote Worker Use of Mental Health

Services: When workers are struggling,

supervisors can take the lead in connecting

employees to immediate mental health and

crisis services.


Restrict Access to Potentially Lethal

Means: When potential for suicide is high,

remove access to guns, pills and other

means of suicide.


Provide Support after Suicide: Follow

crisis management procedures and

longer-term support in the aftermath of

a suicide as outlined in “A Managers

Guide to Suicide Postvention in the

Workplace” [available as free PDF at www.].


Construction Working Minds is part of the Working Minds Program of the Carson J Spencer Foundation

If you need help now:

Crisis Services:

Counseling Services:

Copyright © 2016 Working Minds™ / Website design by

H5 Networks IT Support, Hoop5 Networks IT Support