IASP Special Interest Group - Suicide and the Workplace Resources

Additional workplace-related resources can be found in IASP's Web Resource Directory. Click here to see the listing.

National strategies for workplace suicide prevention

National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace (Canada)

National Guidelines for Workplace Suicide Prevention (US)

2015 Australia National Guidelines: Men, Unemployment & Suicide


King T, Batterham P, Lingard H, Gullestrup J, Kelly B, Lockwood C, Harvey SB, LaMontagne AD, Milner A (2019). Are Young Men Getting the Message? Age Differences in Suicide Prevention Literacy among Male Construction Workers. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 16, 475; doi:10.3390/ijerph16030475

Milner A, LaMontagne AD (2018). Suicide in the employed population: A review of epidemiology, risk factors and prevention activities. Work and Health: Scientific Scripture Series (Swedish journal, peer reviewed). 52(5): 1-39.

Milner A, King T (2019). Men's work, women's work and suicide: A retrospective mortality study assessing the contributions of socio-economic status, age, mental illness and gendered occupational context to suicide. ANZJPH. doi:10.1111/1753-6405.12859

King T, Gullestrup J, Batterham P, Kelly B, Lockwood C, Lingard H, Harvey SB, LaMontagne AD, Milner A (2018). Shifting beliefs about suicide: pre-post evaluation of the effectiveness of a program for workers in the construction industry. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 15(10), 2106; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15102106

Hom, M. A., Stanley, I. H., Spencer-Thomas, S., & Joiner, T. E. (2018). Examining exposure to suicide and suicide bereavement among women firefighters: Associated suicidality and psychiatric symptoms. Journal of Clinical Psychology, PMID 30022494 DOI: 10.1002/jclp.22674

Hom, M. A., Stanley, I. H., Spencer-Thomas, S., & Joiner, T.E. (2018). Mental health service use and help-seeking among women firefighters with a career history of suicidality. Psychological Services, 5: 316-324. PMID 30080090 DOI: 10.1037/ser0000202

Hom, M. A., Stanley, I. H., Spencer-Thomas, S., & Joiner, T. E. Women firefighters and workplace harassment: Associated suicidality and mental health sequelae. (2017). Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, (12):910-917. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0000000000000759

Gallyer, A. J., Dougherty, S. P., Gai, A. R., Stanley, I. H., Hom, M. A., Rogers, M. L., Duffy, M. E., Buchman-Schmitt, J. M., Spencer-Thomas, S., & Joiner, T. E. (2018). Problematic alcohol use and suicidal ideation among firefighters: A multi-study investigation of the explanatory roles of perceived burdensomeness and thwarted belongingness. Journal of Affective Disorders, 238: 281–288. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2018.05.045

Stanley, I. H., Hom, M. A., Chu, C., Dougherty, S. P., Gallyer, A. J., Spencer-Thomas, S., Shelef, L., Fruchter, E., Comtois, K. A., Gutierrez, P. M., Sachs-Ericsson, N. J., & Joiner, T. E. (2018). Perceptions of belongingness and social support attenuate PTSD symptom severity among firefighters: A multi-study investigation. Psychological Services. DOI: 10.1037/ser0000240.

Spencer-Thomas, S. & Stohlmann-Rainey, J. (2017). Workplaces and the aftermath of suicide. In

Andriessen, K., Krysinska, K. & Grad, O. (Eds). Postvention in Action. Hogrefe: Boston, MA.

Stanley, I. H., Hom, M. A., Spencer-Thomas, S., & Joiner, T. E. (2017). Examining anxiety sensitivity as a mediator of the association between PTSD symptoms and suicide risk among women firefighters. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 50, 94-102. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.janxdis.2017.06.003 19.

Stanley, I. H., Hom, M. A., Spencer-Thomas, S., & Joiner, T. E. (2017). Suicidal thoughts and behaviors among women firefighters: An examination of associated features and comparison of pre-career and career prevalence rates.Journal of Affective Disorders, 221, 107-114. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2017.06.016

Milner A., Page K.M., Spencer-Thomas S., Lamotagne A.D. (2014). Workplace suicide prevention: a systematic review of published and unpublished activities. Health Promotion International. doi:10.1093/heapro/dau085

Paul, R. & Spencer-Thomas, S. (2012). Changing workplace culture to end the suicide standstill. National Council Magazine. (2), 126-127.

Iliceto P, Pompili M, Spencer-Thomas S, Ferracuti S, Erbuto D, Lester D, Candilera G, & Girardi P. (2012). Occupational stress and psychopathology in health professionals: An explorative study with the Multiple Indicators Multiple Causes (MIMIC) model approach. Stress, (2), 143-152.

Spencer-Thomas, S. (2012). Developing a workplace suicide prevention program. Journal of Employee Assistance, 42(1), 12-15.

Spencer-Thomas, S. (2011, Fourth Quarter). Working Minds: What workplaces can do to prevent suicide. Mental Health Works, pp. 17-22.

Spencer-Thomas, S. (2011, July). High performers and suicide prevention in the workplace. Psychiatric Annals, 41(7), 343-344.

Spencer-Thomas, S. (2011, January).Making mental health matter: Best practices for suicide prevention in the workplace. EA Report Brown Bagger, 1-4.

Spencer-Thomas, S. (2011, January). 'It can never happen here.': Suicide postvention in the workplace. EA Report, 14(1), 1-3.

Spencer-Thomas, S. (2011, January). What to do when a suicide impacts a workplace: Containment, support, and reintegration, Advisor (A newsletter for Colorado’s HR Association).

International collaborations and Other Publications

Mittag, A. (2018). What every HR exec needs to know about suicide in the workplace. Retrieved on June 6, 2019 from https://lifespeak.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/07-12-2018-BenefitsPRO-Workplace-Suicide.pdf

Andrus, D. (2018, September 11) A risky business—Examining suicide in construction: Why do so many construction workers take their own lives? https://coloradobuildermag.com/business-management/insurance/a-risky-business-examining-suicide-in-construction/

Programmatic and Social Media activities

National Guidelines for Workplace Suicide Prevention (USA) — Strength and Needs Assessment

Results from National Survey on Workplace Suicide Prevention Guidelines https://www.sallyspencerthomas.com/dr-sally-speaks-blog/2018/9/9/announcement-results-from-national-survey-on-workplace-suicide-prevention-guidelines

13 focus groups and 15 in-depth-interviews whose participants spanned diverse roles, industries, experiences and geographies.

Construction Working Minds www.ConstructionWorkingMinds.org

LifeSpeak (Canadian HQ) — series of workplace suicide prevention videos

"Why does the way we talk about suicide matter?" https://youtu.be/B3oQDOPPwXM

I am here" -- 25 minute on-line traininghttps://vimeo.com/322143926/d057a361a5

"What can I do if I am worried someone is at risk of suicide?" https://youtu.be/5HVavIC4eN4

Office of Resources Revenue (Federal Agency in US), 20th February, Dallas, Texas. How to Have Critical Conversations about Suicide. On-going national training program on suicide prevention in the workplace. Spencer-Thomas, S., trainer.

Suicide Prevention Training Needs and Strengths Assessment: A Report for the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (Submitted December 13, 2018). Spencer-Thomas, S., facilitator.

Working Minds Training: Suicide Prevention in the Workplace (trained over 200 trainers nationwide in 2018). https://www.coloradodepressioncenter.org/workingminds/

Maron, D., Field, J. & Spencer-Thomas, S. (2018). What can we do to help Veterans’ mental health? Hire them. Article: https://www.sallyspencerthomas.com/dr-sally-speaks-blog/2018/10/8/what-can-we-do-to-help-veterans-mental-health-hire-them

#ElevateTheConvo Twitter Chats (facilitated by S. Spencer-Thomas)

January 18th Work-Life Integration: US and Australia Perspectives (5.5 million impressions) https://wakelet.com/wake/84129738-91e9-4752-8a5d-bf66849c0f93

July 19th Entrepreneurs & Mental Health: What to do when you are up on the high wire (4.4 million impressions) https://wakelet.com/wake/abeec191-af9c-47c0-9520-ac4f29c91fec

Hope Illuminated Podcast (facilitated by S. Spencer-Thomas)

Suicide Prevention in the Workplace – Best Practices in Training and Changing Industry Culture: Interview with Jorgen Gullestrup of MATES in Construction https://www.sallyspencerthomas.com/hope-illuminated-podcast/2

3 Ways to Build Resilience at Work: Interview with Judge (Ret.) Mary McClatchey https://www.sallyspencerthomas.com/hope-illuminated-podcast/8

Leadership, Strategy & System Change: Interview with Stuart Binstock & Michelle Walker https://www.sallyspencerthomas.com/hope-illuminated-podcast/11