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:

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