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Crisis Management, Policy & Means Restriction

Businesses can ensure HR has protocols in place following the death of a colleague by suicide. When policies and protocol are established before a crisis occurs, workplaces are in a much better position to rapidly respond and help prevent collateral damage. Without policies and protocol in place, workplaces are likely to make mistakes that might affect public communication, employee morale, and additional safety concerns – all costly problems for an employer. Crisis management focuses both on prevention and postvention through approaches designed to assist those affected by a suicide or suicide attempt by decreasing negative responses and increasing the ability to cope. Listed below are organizations that provide crisis hotlines and crisis intervention services.

Crisis call centers provide one crucial resource.  These hotlines and chat resources are usually anonymous, free and very accessible – to both the person in distress and the employer who is trying to support the person in distress. Other resources include crisis counseling and grief support.

Sometimes the crisis that a workplace faces is not the suicide death of an employee or employee’s family member, but the high risk suicidal behavior of an employee. In addition to the mental health services mentioned above, “lethal means restriction” can help alleviate the crisis. Lethal means restriction means removing or prohibiting access to methods people use to take their lives, most notably, guns, pills and bridges. Families of troubled employees can benefit from “lethal means counseling” – in other words, recommended language for use with a suicidal person to help them temporarily relinquish access to the things that might kill them.

  • Means Matter (by Harvard School of Public Health)
    Type of Organization: Educational and research
    Services: Research findings and how recommendations on how to reduce access to lethal means including information on "lethal means counseling" for families who are concerned about a suicidal loved one
    Format (print, webinar, blog, etc.): Website
    Cost: Free
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
    Type of Organization: Program of SAMHSA and the Mental Health Association of NYC
    Services: Hotline/Crisis Center 1-800-273-8255
    Format (print, webinar, blog, etc.): Suicide Prevention Hotline (phone/web)
    Cost: Free
  • Veterans Crisis Line
    Type of Organization: Department of Veterans Affairs
    Services: Suicide prevention hotline, website and chat. Confidential, toll free hotline: 1-800-273-8255
    Format (print, webinar, blog, etc.): Phone/web
    Cost: Free
National Action Alliance
for Suicide Prevention

300 Fifth Avenue, Suite 2010
Waltham, MA 02451