Workplace Violence: Suicides on the Rise

Recently, I was personally affected by suicide when a neighbor shot himself.  (Fortunately, we were on vacation).  So perhaps that’s why this article at MSNBC.com was so impactful.

Workplace suicides are surging since December 2008 – not only in China (which was well publicized) but in the United States as well.  The US number could be as high as a 75% increase in 2009 from the previous year.

Richard Shadick, director of Pace University’s Counseling Center, an adjunct professor of psychology and a suicide expert, notes some warning signs to watch for:

  1. Persistent depression or sadness that lasts for long periods of time and impairs ability to function at work or in relationships.

  2. Verbal altercations at work or home.

  3. Excessive drinking. 

Workplace violence doesn’t go away.  And it’s clearly a concern for employers.  An article I wrote for this blog 2 1/2 years ago remains the 3rd most visited page in our history.

Pay attention to this – and make sure your employees are aware of warning signs and feel comfortable reporting those signs to management.

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