Leading Workplace Violence Prevention Expert, W. Barry Nixon, SPHR Appointed to the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention

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As a part of Suicide Prevention Month, The National Institute for Prevention of Workplace Violence, Inc. Announced the appointment of W. Barry Nixon to The National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention

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"The law enforcement community acknowledges suicide prevention as a health and safety priority"

While overall rates of workplace violence have been steadily decreasing since the mid-nineties, in the last five years, there has been an increase in workplace suicides, based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics on occupational deaths. Workplace suicide rates are rising, according to a study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH); between 2003 and 2010, 1,719 people died by suicide in the workplace, while another 270,500 died by suicide outside of the workplace. The workplace rate jumped after 2007, which many suicide prevention experts say was linked to the recession. Workplace violence expert, W. Barry Nixon, Executive Director, National Institute for the Prevention of Workplace Violence, Inc., said, "Beyond the pressures the recession brought to bare on people, other contributing factors to this jump in suicides are the increase in stress levels by people who daily faced the possibility of being laid-off, being severely overworked due to needing to pick up the slack caused by reductions in workforces, fear of taking time off for vacations and having few options to leave because jobs elsewhere were scarce." Nixon added, "Putting all of these issues in the pot together, unfortunately, some people could not see their way out of this dilemma and, while untenable to many of us, faced with what they perceived as a 'no way out scenario,' suicide became a viable option for them."

Mr. Nixon is Founder and Executive Director of the National Institute for the Prevention of Workplace Violence, Inc. He is a recognized expert in Workplace Violence Prevention, a sought after speaker, an accomplished writer, has appeared on major news shows including ABC, MSNBC and NBC and is a past recipient of Security Magazine's 'Most influential people in Security' recognition. He also served on SHRM's Special Expertise Panel for Occupational Health, Safety and Security and was a member of the joint effort with ASIS International and SHRM to create the first Workplace Violence Prevention standard. He is a member of ASIS International's Crisis Management and Business Continuity Council.

Research by NIOSH reports higher suicide rates among certain workers. Two industries that have problematic levels of suicides are first responders, especially including law enforcement officers and construction. Both of these industries have worked in partnership with The National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention to develop programs and initiatives to address the growing problem of suicides.

The National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention is the public-private partnership working to advance the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention and make suicide prevention a national priority. Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC) operates the Secretariat for the Action Alliance, which was launched in 2010 by former U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and former U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates with the goal of saving 20,000 lives in five years.

The National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention's Workplace Task Force and the Carson J Spencer Foundation, in partnership with RK, has jointly released a suicide prevention guide entitled, A Construction Industry Blueprint: Suicide Prevention in the Workplace. The guide is a clear call-to-action to construction executives around the world to make suicide prevention a health and safety priority. It also gives managers clear guidelines on healthy approaches and prevention measures. The Blueprint is intended to assist construction industry workplaces in building their capacity to better prevent suicide.

In addition, the national law enforcement community acknowledges suicide prevention as a health and safety priority. Working in partnership with the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), the Carson J Spencer Foundation, the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, and the American Association of Suicidology developed a video entitled Breaking the Silence: Suicide Prevention in Law Enforcement (access video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-mDvJIU9RI) and in an expanded collaborative effort, the partnership is releasing a video facilitation training guide for law enforcement agencies. The guide can be downloaded as a free PDF here: http://carsonjspencer.org/files/9214/4078/2987/20150817_LE_Video_Guide.pdf

Dr. Sally Spencer-Thomas, Psy.D., CEO & Co-Founder, Carson J Spencer Foundation said, "We are delighted to appoint W. Barry Nixon to the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention's Workplace Task Force because his knowledge, leadership and prominence in workplace violence prevention will be invaluable in helping the Task Force develop suicide programs to help employers reduce suicides in the workplace." Dr. Spencer added that "The National Institute for Prevention of Workplace Violence, Inc. is uniquely positioned with the leading web site on workplace violence prevention, http://www.Workplaceviolence911.com. and its industry leading e-magazine, The Workplace Violence Prevention eReport, to assist the Task Force in increasing the awareness of security, human resources, safety professionals and senior management about the importance of suicide prevention as well as the overall mental wellness of their workforce."

Mr. Nixon said "the time has come for executives to bring mental health issues out of the closet and to confront them with the same vigor that other business challenges are tackled. We can no longer think of suicide as a dirty little secret and hope it will go away. The time has come for proactive and meaningful action." He challenged the business community with the question, "If you do not know what to do if someone threatens suicide then you need to read up on how to address this situation today and not wait until something happens and then wish you had done something. Now is the time that you can make a difference.”

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For information about The National Institute for Prevention of Workplace Violence, Inc. please contact W. Barry Nixon at 1-949-770-5264 or Barry(at)wvp911(dot)com.

For information about the National Alliance for Suicide Prevention and the Carson J. Spencer Foundation please contact Dr. Sally Spencer-Thomas at 720-244-6535 or SallyWCarsonJSpencer.org.

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