Workplace Task Force

Make suicide prevention a priority in your workplace!


The goal of the Workplace Task Force is to deliver a compelling business case that offers solutions, provides support for employers, and motivates them from inaction to the implementation of a comprehensive, public health approach to suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention in the workplace.


The following 4 videos are key resources for being viewed in workplace awareness and prevention efforts:

The Action Alliance’s Workplace Task Force is seeking video testimonials from CEOs, who are building capacity and dedicating resources to suicide prevention in their company.  If that describes you, or the CEO of your company, and you would like to record a video message like the one above, please contact Colleen Carr at

  • Cal BeyerCo-Lead Private Sector; Director of Risk Management, Lakeside Industries *
  • Sally Spencer-Thomas, PsyD—Co-Lead Private Sector
  • Chris Carlough, Director of Education, International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail & Transportation Workers
  • Bernie Dyme, AM, President and CEO, Perspectives Ltd.
  • Dennis Gillan, Advocate, Coach, Motivational Speaker,
  • Jeffrey Gorter, MSW/LMSW, Clinical Director, R3 Continuum
  • Donna Hardaker, Program Manager, Workplace Mental Health and Peer Engagement, Sutter Health
  • Jodi Jacobson-Frey, PhD, LCSW-C, Associate Professor, School of Social Work, University of Maryland
  • David James, CFO, FNF, Inc. Construction
  • Mark R. Jones, PhD, Director, Employee Assistance, Union Pacific Railroad *
  • Marko Kaar, Director Of Safety Operations, Bartlett Brainerd Eacott
  • David Kingdon, Assistant Professor, Maui EMS Training Center/University of Hawaii
  • Mary McClatchey, Founder and President, WorkSmart Partners
  • Maggie Mortali, MPH, Director of Interactive Screening Program, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
  • Felix Nater, CSC, Consultant, Nater Associates, Ltd.
  • Candice Porter, MSW, LICSW, Vice President for Outreach and Partnerships, Screening for Mental Health, Inc.
  • Bob Swanson, (Retired) President of Swanson & Youngdale, Inc.
  • Bob VandePol, MSW, Executive Director, Employee Assistance Program/Church Assistance Program, Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services
  • Michelle Walker, Vice President of Finance & Administration, Specialized Services Company
  • Yousry Zakhary, MA, President & Public Safety Director, International Association of Chiefs of Police *
  • Kyle Zimmer, Health & Safety Director and Member Assistance, International Union of Operating Engineers (Local 478)
  • Staff Support: Amanda Mosby, MA, Program Manager, University of Maryland, Baltimore, School of Social Work
*Asterisk indicates Action Alliance Executive Commitee Members.

Slides from the 2015 American Association of Suicidology Conference Presentation: Workplace Connections: Determining Best Practices, Implementing Onsite

  1. Assess the problem and its context within the workplace setting. Conduct a needs assessment to fully understand the problem; identify obstacles and resources; and assess current beliefs and understanding about suicide and associated risk and protective factors across diverse workplace populations.
  2. Increase workplace buy-in about the consequences of not attending to suicidal behavior and identify strategies/solutions for prevention. Develop and deliver:
    1. a compelling business case to support the position that suicide prevention in the workplace makes good business sense and that it can be effectively accomplished in the larger cultural context of employer efforts to build a culture of health and/or safety, and
    2. a description of specific strategies/solutions for prevention and mental health promotion.
  3. Build the capacity of workplaces to engage in suicide prevention. Educate workplaces about suicide and associated risk and protective factors and offer best practices that workplaces can use to help employees remain mentally healthy and engaged.
  4. Engage employers to take action and evaluate results. Reduce stigma and encourage help seeking behaviors in the workplace through workplace-based education and training; support key messages by organizational leaders and managers around suicide prevention resulting in increased use of EAP/mental health assistance and reduced incidence of employee suicide; and incorporate suicide prevention messaging and protective factors into existing company health and wellness efforts and policies.