Suicide & The Workplace -- Globalization, Job Strain, and the Dark Side of the New Economy: Interview with Dr. Allison Milner | Episode 30
NOTE: This podcast will air on 2/26/19 at 10:00AM ET https://soundcloud.com/user-225414284-842732102
Too often when we talk about mental health promotion and suicide prevention in the workplace, the main message is about how to get workers who are suffering to counselors. Not enough attention is paid to the environmental aspects of the workplace that may be contributing to despair and what peers, managers and leadership can do to solve these problems. The research is clear — job strain is connected to suicide risk (Milner, et al, 2017). In particular certain types of job strain are related to suicide attempts and death:
Low control (limited decision-making)
High demand (pressure, workload)
Effort-reward imbalance (e.g., high pressure/expectations with little reward — income, respect or security)
Bullying/harassment (Leach et al)
On this podcast I interview an international authority on workplace suicide and mental health research, Dr. Allison Milner. Join us as we explore some of the social determinants of suicide through a social justice lens in the world of work.
“Suicide prevention doesn’t just magically happen on the psychiatrist’s couch…It happens peer-to-peer. We need the day-to-day interactions to support mental health services and help resolve issues when they are smaller.”
About Dr. Allison Milner
Dr. Allison Milner is a Deputy Director of the Disability and Health Unit, Melbourne School Population and Global Health, the University of Melbourne. Her current areas of research interests include the influence of gender, employment characteristics, quality of work, and occupation as determinants of mental health and suicide. Allison also focuses on specific employed groups that may be particularly likely to face disadvantage, such as blue-collar workers in the manufacturing and construction industry. Allison’s work ranges across a number of externally-funded etiologic and intervention projects. She works with key policy stakeholders to promote research on the link between work and mental health, and is the co-chair for an international panel of researchers aiming to promote workplace suicide prevention. She has been awarded the Victorian Health and Medical Research Fellowship for her work on gender, employment and mental health. In this work, she is progressing the concept of “gendered working environments” as a cause of health inequalities.
Leach, L., Poyser, C. & Butterworth, P. (2017). Workplace bullying and the association with suicidal ideation/thoughts and behavior: A systemic review. Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 74: 72-79.
Milner, A. et al. (2013) Suicide by occupation: Systematic review and meta-analysis. The British journal of psychiatry: the journal of mental science 203(6):409-16 DOI: 10.1192/bjp.bp.113.128405
Milner, A., Witt, K., LaMontagne, A. & Niedhammer, I. (2017). Psychosocial job stressors and suicidality: A meta-analysis and systemic review. Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Retrieved on January 3, 2018 from https://oem.bmj.com/content/75/4/245 .
Workplace Suicide Prevention Resources
Comprehensive Blueprint for Workplace Suicide Prevention (Workplace Task Force, National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention) https://theactionalliance.org/resource/comprehensive-blueprint-workplace-suicide-prevention
Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance (Australia) http://www.mentalhealthcommission.gov.au/our-work/mentally-healthy-workplace-alliance.aspx
Workplace Suicide Prevention Training
Working Minds (suicide prevention in the workplace) https://www.coloradodepressioncenter.org/workingminds/
Advanced Student Support (for peers and other non-clinicians):
Matrix of all Gatekeeper trainings: http://www.cccstudentmentalhealth.org/docs/SuicidePreventionGatekeeperTrainingForCCCs.pdf
Workplace Mental Health Screening Programs
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Interactive Screening Program: https://afsp.org/our-work/interactive-screening-program/
Screening for Mental Health’s Workplace Response Program: https://www.mentalhealthscreening.org/programs/workplace
Upstream and Midstream Workplace Resources
NIOSH Fundamentals of total worker health approaches: essential elements for advancing worker safety, health, and well-being: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2017-112/pdfs/2017_112.pdf
Additional Model Programs
Guarding Minds at Work (Canada): https://www.guardingmindsatwork.ca/
JMJ Safety Practices: https://www.jmj.com/
Psychological Health Workplace Award (American Psychological Association) https://www.apaexcellence.org/awards/national/
NAMI Workplace Stigma — ceos.NAMIMass.org
R3 Continuum https://r3c.com/our-services/
Construction Working Minds http://www.constructionworkingminds.org/
The Lighthouse Project of Columbia University http://cssrs.columbia.edu/about-the-project/about-the-lighthouse-project/
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