How to Spot suicidal behavior in the workplace

Vikrant Shetty

March 20, 2023

3:19 pm

In the United States, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death and claims the lives of more than 45,979 people each year. Suicide does not discriminate; it touches people of all age, race, religion, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Although most suicidal individuals give some type of warning sign, many people are either unaware of the signs or unsure how to respond to them.

You can read more about suicide statistics here. This article will provide readers with an understanding of how to spot suicidal behaviors in the workplace.

Identifying possible warning signs of suicide

Although it is not always easy to tell if someone is considering committing suicide, certain warning signs may indicate that someone is in crisis. If you are concerned about someone at work, look for the following potential warning signs:

1. Talking about wanting to die or hurt oneself 

2. expressing feelings of hopelessness 

3. talking about being a burden to others 

4. increasing alcohol or drug abuse 

5. withdrawing from friends and activities 

6. abnormal mood swings 

7. giving away prized possessions 

8. sudden burst of energy followed by depression 

If you notice any of these warning signs in a coworker, Take the time to talk to them and listen to them. Let them know that you are there for them and offer any resources that may be helpful, such as employee assistance programs or counseling services.

What causes suicidal tendencies?

There are many potential causes of suicidal behaviors in the workplace, and it is important to be aware of these so that you can help to prevent them. 

One of the most common causes is stress. Workplace stress can come from a variety of sources, including long hours, tight deadlines, demanding bosses or colleagues, and a feeling of being undervalued or unappreciated. If someone is already struggling with mental health issues, this stress can be enough to trigger suicidal thoughts or behavior. 

Another potential cause is bullying or harassment. Unfortunately, this is all too common in many workplaces, and can make people feel isolated, rejected, and worthless. This can again be especially difficult for those who are already struggling with mental health issues.

How to prevent workplace suicide?

Preventing suicide in the workplace can be difficult, as many people may be reluctant to talk about their mental health for fear of stigma or retaliation. However, there are some signs that employees can look out for which may indicate that someone is suicidal. 

Some warning signs that an employee may be considering suicide include: expressing feelings of hopelessness or being trapped, talking about wanting to die or hurt oneself, increasing alcohol or drug abuse, withdrawing from friends and activities, exhibiting aggressive behavior, and giving away prized possessions.

If you notice any of these behaviors in a coworker, it’s important to reach out and offer support. Let them know that you are there for them and offer resources like the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (988).

If you are worried about someone at work, there are some steps you can take to help prevent them from harming themselves. First, try to have a conversation with the person. If they seem open to talking, ask them directly if they are thinking about harming themselves. If they are not suicidal, they will most likely be relieved that someone noticed and was willing to talk about it.

If the person is suicidal, encourage them to seek professional help. You can offer to help them find a therapist or support group. Let them know that you care about their well-being and want to help them get through this difficult time.

If the person refuses help or you are worried that they may harm themselves before getting professional help, tell a supervisor or another trusted individual at work.


 In conclusion, workplace suicide is a serious problem that should not be ignored. By understanding the signs and factors that contribute to suicidal thoughts and behaviors, employers can play a vital role in supporting employees who may be at risk. If you are concerned about someone at work, don’t be afraid to reach out and offer help.

Vikrant Shetty

March 20, 2023

3:19 pm

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