Suicide is an unfortunate reality in today’s society. In the United States alone, it is estimated that 121 people die from taking their own life every single day. In a year’s time that is over 44,000 people. The rate at which individuals are taking their own life has increased over the last decade. Suicides in the workplace have mirrored this increase.
Suicide in the Workplace Statistics
(source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)
Even with workplace fatalities decreasing, suicides continue to increase in the workplace. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that there were 242 suicides committed in the workplace in 2013 which was the highest amount since the number has been tracked since 1992. In a comprehensive study published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were some common factors for those individuals who committed suicide in the workplace. Some statistics found looking at the suicides that occurred from 2011-2013:
- Men accounted for over 90% of these deaths
- White (non Hispanic) was the most common race with over 76% of all cases
- The age group accounting for the highest percentage in these cases was 45-54 years old followed by 35-44 years old
- 78% of cases were salary or wage workers and 22% were self-employed
Dealing with Suicidal Thoughts or Feelings
If you are dealing with suicidal thoughts or feelings it is important to know that there is help. These thoughts and feelings can be fixed. Some quick tips of advice if you are dealing with this situation:
- Know that your emotions are not fixed. How you feel now is not necessarily how you will feel tomorrow or next week.
- Promise not to do anything right now. Put time between thoughts and actions.
- Avoid drugs and alcohol.
- Make your home safe or go somewhere that you feel safe.
- Do not keep suicidal thoughts to yourself. There is always someone who you can share these thoughts or feelings with. (If you do not think you can share these thoughts with anyone around you, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline toll free 24 hours a day 1-800-273-8255.)
- Take hope. People do get through this.
Whether you are dealing with these thoughts or someone else close to you is, take them seriously. Do not do anything sudden when dealing with these thoughts. Take the time and seek out help. It is important to understand that many people are dealing with these feelings and thoughts every day and someone in our workplace may be one of them.