Suicide Among Working-Aged People
- Suicide is the leading cause of injury-related death in Canada. Working-aged men and women represent one of the highest risk groups for suicide.
- Men of working age die by suicide 3 to 4 times more often than women. Women are hospitalized for suicide-related behaviour 1.5 times more often than men.
- Although suicide deaths affect almost all age groups, middle-aged men (40 to 59) have the highest rates.
Suicide and Workplace Impact
- The workplace plays an essential part in maintaining positive mental health.
- The suicide of a worker has tremendous emotional costs in the workplace.
- 70% of Canadian employees have some degree of concern about psychological health and safety in their workplace.
- Approximately 500,000 Canadians will not go to work because of mental illness on any given week.
- The annual cost to the economy in health and social services, income support, and lost productivity is $51 billion.
Role of Workplaces in Suicide Prevention
- Workplaces are communities. Adults spend more waking hours in the workplace (60%) than anywhere else.
- Workplaces play a critical role in preventing suicides and promoting good mental health.
- Given the right tools, managers and colleagues are able to identify and support employees at risk of suicide.
- Effectively supporting employees bereaved by suicide can prevent further suicide.
Benefits of Becoming a Suicide-Safer Workplace
- Saves lives
- More productive workforce
- Reduced workplace injuries and absences
- Results in a more resilient and hopeful workforce
- A compassionate and psychologically safe workplace
Key Elements in a Suicide-Safer Workplace
- A workplace culture where help-seeking behaviours are encouraged
- Clear communication regarding the value of worker mental health and safety
- Provision of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Awareness and Training
- Promotion of information and resources on suicide prevention, intervention and postvention (suicide bereavement)
- An established response protocol in the event of a suicide or suicide attempt, at work or outside work, in the life of a worker.