9 Work Related Factors Contributing to Suicide

Emi Golding, Director of Psychology for The Workplace Mental Health Institute outlines 9 work-related factors that increase the risk of suicide.


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Video #3: 9 Work-related factors contributing to suicide


We’re pleased to bring you the final instalment in our series on workplace suicide prevention.

In this video, Director of Psychology, Emi Golding discusses 9 work related factors that increase the risk of suicide.

For those of you watching in an open plan office, we’ve provided the transcript of the video below.

Thank you for watching.


Transcript of video

In 2012, a review of Victorian suicides between 2000 and 2007 found that in over half the cases, there were both work related and non-work related factors involved in the suicide.

(Non work related factors are things like a history of anxiety and depression, relationship problems, drug & alcohol abuse, and other physical and mental illnesses.)

This highlights that the factors leading a person to suicide are often complex and multidimensional. But in almost half those cases, work stressors were the sole factor contributing to the suicide.

So what kinds of work stressors may lead a person to suicide?

The World Health Organisation says that stressful work environments are those with constant time pressures, uncontrollable work schedules, background distractions, strife (things like poor employee relations, bullying or harassment), lack of space, general uncertainty and a push to do more with less.

Sounds like almost every modern workplace doesn’t it!


13 Suicide Warning Signs

An earlier study done in 2002 found 9 factors that contributed to workplace suicides from 1989 to 2000:

6% were due to being investigated over a work matter

13% were due to an argument or disagreement with a work colleague or supervisor

15% were due to performance pressures and long hours

17% were due to fear of retrenchment or actual retrenchment

And 21% were due to work stress

When it comes to reducing the risk of workplace suicide, one of the most promising strategies to emerge is Gatekeeper training.

Gatekeeper training is where you find a group of people who are in a natural position to look out for a larger population. These ‘gatekeepers’ can be trained to spot individuals at risk and refer them to appropriate supports. Potential gatekeepers can be the police, sports officials, teachers, co-workers, shopkeepers and others who get to know a community of people well.

Now, as leaders and work colleagues we are the ideal gatekeepers during the ⅓ of our waking hours we spend at work. We can learn to identify the warning signs of suicide, so we can reach out to someone at risk, before things move past the point of no return.

If you would like to develop your skills in this area, please check out our online Suicide Prevention course. In it you’ll learn some practical, life saving skills to identify the warning signs early and intervene correctly. The course can be completed on any desktop or mobile device, at a time that is convenient to you. Head to our course page to find out more.

Thank you and take care.

Author: Emi Golding
Emi-Golding-Director-of-PsychologyEmmaline (Emi) Golding is a registered psychologist and Director of Psychology for the Workplace Mental Health Institute. With experience both at the frontline and in Senior Management positions within mental health services, Emi is passionate about educating and expanding people’s knowledge of mental health issues, particularly within workplaces. For her own well being, Emi loves to dance and spend time with friends. She also enjoys learning languages and travelling to new and exciting places around the world.

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