Deaths of Chef, Fashion Designer Start National Dialogue on Suicide, Depression


Kathy Gurchiek By Kathy Gurchiek June 8, 2018
Deaths of Chef, Fashion Designer Start National Dialogue on Suicide, Depression

​Anthony Bourdain, chef and Emmy award-winning host of CNN's "Parts Unknown," was found dead of an apparent suicide in his hotel room in France today. His death comes three days after the suicide of fashion designer Kate Spade.

Their deaths have started a national dialogue about clinical depression, which is among the top three workplace problems—after family crisis and stress—that employee assistance professionals see, according to Mental Health America.

Research published Thursday from the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that suicide rates increased by 25 percent across the country over nearly two decades. More than half of those who died by suicide had not been diagnosed with a mental health condition, CNN reported.

SHRM Online has collected the following articles from its archives and a variety of respected sources on the topic.

Anthony Bourdain, Kate Spade's Deaths Ignite Concern about Rising Suicide Rate

Suicides increased in both men and women, in all ethnic groups and in both urban and rural areas, according to the CDC. It said suicide and "self-harm," a category that includes attempted suicides, cost the nation $70 billion a year in medical care and lost work time.
(USA Today

Suicide Warning Signs: Here's What To Look for When Someone Needs Help

Mental disorders, depression, a prior suicide attempt, family history and exposure to other suicidal behavior are some of the most frequently cited risk factors for suicide, according to the National Institutes of Health. Here are some warning signs and resources.
(USA Today

Depression: Start the Conversation to Remove the Stigma

It's important to talk about depression and destigmatize it so that people are not afraid to seek treatment. People fear that if word of their diagnosis gets out, they will be passed over for promotions, seen as less credible or labeled as "damaged goods," said Carol A. Kivler, a workplace consultant who was diagnosed in 1990 with clinical depression.
(SHRM Online)

[SHRM members-only toolkit: Employing Persons with Psychiatric Disabilities
Starting the Dialogue: Depression in the Workplace

HR professionals attending the SHRM 2018 Annual Conference & Exposition can learn strategies from Kivler on how to create an atmosphere that respects and responds to a workforce affected by depression. Her session will address the pervasive stigma that prevents employees from admitting they are suffering from a mental illness. Attendees will learn:

  • How to identify the signs and symptoms of depression in the workplace.
  • The difference you can make in altering the impact of depression and incorporate strategies to address employee depression.
  • How to establish the need for employee self-awareness and educational programs as part of a company-wide strategy.
    (SHRM Online)

Why More Employers Should Provide 'Mental Health First Aid'

Few organizational leaders choose to educate their workforces about mental illness, a set of conditions that cause more lost workdays and impairment than arthritis, asthma, back pain, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. But educating workers about mental illness is good for your company's health.
(HR Magazine

How to Accommodate Employees with Mental Illness

A growing number of HR professionals recognize that early detection and treatment of mental illness often can prevent a crisis and reduce employers’ health care costs down the road. They are developing programs and plans to provide more support for their employees with psychiatric disorders—similar to the help they provide those with physical injuries or ailments.

Six Steps for Dealing with Depression in the Workplace

In the workplace, employees who have depression may fear losing their jobs and don't seek the care they need, leaving many to deal with mental and emotional health issues alone. One of the most important things employers can do is encourage an open, direct approach to addressing mental health—and that discussion must start at the top. 

(Benefit News)  


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