Workplace suicide prevention: a systematic review of published and unpublished activities

Health Promot Int. 2015 Mar;30(1):29-37. doi: 10.1093/heapro/dau085. Epub 2014 Sep 25.


There are a number of published studies on workplace suicide prevention activities, and an even larger number of activities that are not reported on in academic literature. The aim of this review was to provide a systematic assessment of workplace suicide prevention activities, including short-term training activities, as well as suicide prevention strategies designed for occupational groups at risk of suicide. The search was based on Meta-analysis of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (MOOSE) Guidelines. The databases used for the searches were the Cochrane Trials Library and PubMed. A range of suicide prevention websites were also searched to ascertain the information on unpublished workplace suicide prevention activities. Key characteristics of retrieved studies were extracted and explained, including whether activities were short-term training programmes or developed specifically for occupations at risk of suicide. There were 13 interventions relevant for the review after exclusions. There were a few examples of prevention activities developed for at-risk occupations (e.g. police, army, air force and the construction industry) as well as a number of general awareness programmes that could be applied across different settings. Very few workplace suicide prevention initiatives had been evaluated. Results from those that had been evaluated suggest that prevention initiatives had beneficial effects. Suicide prevention has the potential to be integrated into existing workplace mental health activities. There is a need for further studies to develop, implement and evaluate workplace suicide prevention programmes.

Keywords: job stress; occupations; suicide; workplace suicide prevention.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Industry
  • Internet
  • Occupational Health Services
  • Occupational Health*
  • Occupations
  • Program Evaluation
  • Publishing
  • Suicide Prevention*
  • Workplace*