By: Jarvis B. Läkemäker

crises management is as much about preparation and prevention than about the
immediate reactive steps taken following a crisis. One of the areas where developing
a crisis plan can be most beneficial is at the intersection of workers’ compensation
and employee mental health.  

2012 study conducted by researchers with the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations and Field Studies, examined whether
injured workers were more likely than non-injured workers to be treated for
depression after an occupational injury. They determined that within three
months of an injury, the incidence of injured workers being treated for
depression were 44% higher than for non-injured workers. These workers in turn
are an especially vulnerable population when considering suicide risk. 

to the recently published Suicide Prevention in the Workplace,[1] The demographic group with
the highest suicide rate (19.72 per 100,000) is adults between 45 and 54 years
of age, and most are employed at the time of death. As a complex health
outcome, suicide is driven by multiple interacting risk and protective factors.
Because environmental factors are critical in this mix, the workplace holds
great potential for reducing suicide risk and preventing untimely loss of life
to suicide.

the obvious harm to workforce morale, in Georgia, suicide does not
automatically preclude recovery of workers’ compensation benefits. As such, employers
and insurers have an additional incentive to implement policies that support
mental health care for at risk populations and workplace crisis management
programs to ensure that support is available to employees who have filed claims
for workers’ compensation.

David can work with your company to develop a workplace crisis management plan
that properly addresses mental health support and suicide prevention as well as
postvention best practices.


Suicide: A Resource At Work
– World Health Organization  


– Riverside Trauma Center

for Improving Access to Mental Health and Substance Use Care – American
Psychiatric Association

[1] Mortali M.G., Moutier C. (2019) Suicide Prevention in the
Workplace. In: Riba M., Parikh S., Greden J. (eds) Mental Health in the
Workplace. Integrating Psychiatry and Primary Care. Springer, Cham