Understanding Suicide for Leaders

A 3 hour workshop for leaders that builds foundational knowledge and leadership-specific skills in a small-group setting.
  • Half-day
  • Workshop
  • Leader


Although suicide is a complex phenomenon influenced by a variety of individual and environmental factors, organizational leaders can play an important role in suicide prevention.  According to the World Health Organization (WHO), suicide is among the top 10 leading causes of death in North America, Europe, and Latin America, and for individuals between the age of 15-29, it is the 4th leading cause of death.  Many people who consider or plan for suicide may not really want to die, but rather, simply see it as the only solution to end their pain and suffering. This workshop will equip leaders with information to recognize the signs that someone may be considering suicide, the skills to build rapport with colleagues in distress, and strategies to establish a dialogue that helps guide at risk employees to resources for professional help.

*Please note, the information presented in this workshop are not meant to replace diagnosis and treatment by a qualified health professional.*

Workplace Impact

  • Increases awareness of mental health and suicide, and its impact in a working environment
  • Supports the development of strategies to initiate intervention and support programs.
  • Strengthens leader confidence in coping effectively with adversity and facing challenges openly and with confidence.
  • Informs leaders of the support programs already in place to sustain health, engagement and high performance in their role.
  • Builds and fosters a psychologically safe and healthy workplace.


This workshop begins with a discussion on common perceptions and myths associated with suicide followed by an introduction to suicide that includes a review of current trends, suicide risk and protective factors, and potential warning signs.  Leaders are introduced to foundational concepts frequently used to understand suicide risk which  are based upon the SAFE-T suicide assessment model, and provided workplace intervention strategies including examples of scripted statements or questions as well as a variety of resources which can be contacted for support when a colleague shares suicidal thoughts or demonstrates behaviours of concern.

Two scenario’s will provide leaders an opportunity to practice applying prevention and intervention skills that help to build rapport and connect at risk colleagues to supportive resources. The workshop concludes with a discussion on the importance of leader self-care, followed by an overview of the ACT model that provides leaders with a framework by which to structure team communication in a manner that facilitates individual and organization recovery following a crisis such as a workplace suicide attempt.