Since the turn of the century, the suicide rate has been steadily rising in the United States. Back in 2000, there were 10.4 instances per 100,000 people and by 2017, that has increased to 14 instances per 100,000 people. That's a 33 percent increase since 1999 and the highest rate on record since the start of U.S. involvement in the Second World War. Many factors are behind the grim trend such as the opioid crisis, increased alcoholism and stress. Unsurprisingly, such tragic events are also rising in American workplaces with a record number of people taking their own lives on the job in 2017.
The data comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics who documented 304 workplace suicides last year, an 11 percent increase from 2017 and the highest number since the data was first tracked 26 years ago. Employers understandably struggle to respond to instances of workplace suicide, particularly when it comes to supporting employees who witnessed events. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention emphasizes the importance of suicide prevention efforts in the workplace as adults spend the bulk of their time there. Prevention strategies include employee assistance programs, workplace wellness programs, technology to provide online mental health screenings and a reduction of the stigma surrounding mental health issues.