Over the last few weeks, the crisis of suicide has once again come to the forefront. People around the world were devastated to hear of the news of both designer Kate Spade and chef and author Anthony Bourdain dying by suicide.

It left many people confused, angry and wondering just how anyone could do that – especially people so loved and appreciated.

But suicide doesn’t discriminate. It is a global crisis.

Every year nearly 4,000 Canadians die by suicide and we do not have a national strategy in place to deal with it.

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One important place to start with prevention is in the workplace. It is where we spend a huge portion of our lives and interact with others on a daily basis.

Warning Signs in the Workplace:

  • A co-worker who has been acting depressed in the workplace that now seems to be very happy
  • Someone who is acting more aggressive or stressed out than usual and you notice them lashing out at people
  • They comment about always being tired and you notice that they are more fatigued than usual
  • They make comments about being a burden to others and suggest that the world would be better off without them there
  • They don’t show up for work as often or they are absent for periods of time
  • They are not being as productive as usual or seem very un-motivated (presenteeism)

So, what exactly do you do if you see these warning signs?

The Centre for Suicide Prevention recommends telling your coworker that you have noticed changes in their behaviour and that you are concerned about them. You should also directly ask them if they have been having thoughts of suicide and have resources ready to provide them with so they can get help.

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The more we address suicide in the workplace, the more we can reduce the stigma. No one should have to feel alone and that their only option is to die by suicide.

For more information and resources be sure to visit the Centre for Suicide Prevention’s website.  If it is a crisis and you need to talk to someone right away phone 1-833-456-4566.