The report, dated December 2019, says that while the number of workplace fatalities have decreased, the rate of suicides rose 11 percent between 2017 and 2018, adding that this is likely an incomplete figure – the actual numbers could be worse.
“The hope is someday, mental health will be a routine part of wellness programs at companies, as routine as getting your flu shot or blood pressure taken," Colleen L. Carr, director of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, told the Washington Post.
In response to this issue, several leading suicide prevention groups released the first National Guidelines for Workplace Suicide Prevention in 2019 and started a website. It offers a list of “Key Areas for a Healthy Workplace,” which includes “having generous sick leave,” “zero tolerance for bullying or discrimination” and “well-being checks.” The 2019 survey also showed a slow increase in workers’ mental health as “employers are beginning to offer more benefits and solutions specifically targeted at increasing mental wellness.”
In 2019 at least two cases made headlines, increasing suicide (and workplace-related suicide) awareness: In September, a Facebook employee killed himself in the company’s headquarters and the social media giant told at least one employee not to discuss the incident; and after that, in December, an ex-Orange CEO was sentenced to four months in jail, after a court ruled his tactics of cutting down personnel caused the suicides of 19 employees between 2008–2009.