HR Works: HR’s Role in Suicide Prevention


Note: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

The topic of this episode is a difficult one, but one that is very important in the context of employee mental health: suicide. What does HR do when an employee threatens suicide? What if they attempt it? What if they succeed? These troubling circumstances are more than a “maybe.” Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States with over 47,000 Americans dying of suicide in 2017. For every successful suicide there are many attempts, and odds are that HR professionals will have to deal with a situation like this at their workplace at some point.

In this episode, we feature two guests to discuss this important topic. The first is Andrew Adams, an attorney at Skoler Abbott, which operates out of Springfield, Massachusetts. After receiving his undergraduate degree in marine biology Andrew enlisted in the United States Navy before eventually returning back home to Hampden County.  For the next 6 years and throughout law school Andrew worked as a Correctional Officer for the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department until he left to pursue his passion for the law.  In his final year of law school, Andrew was a law clerk at a premier tort litigation firm in Connecticut, before finding his home at Skoler, Abbott.

We also have with us Jamie Vinck, MC, LPC, NCC, and Group Chief Executive Officer at Sierra Tuscon, a residential treatment center for drug and alcohol addiction as well as behavioral health located in Arizona. Successfully operating Acadia Healthcare’s flagship behavioral health facility, Jaime, is the second female CEO at Sierra Tucson. Jaime has introduced groundbreaking outcomes measurement and recovery programs that have earned the facility top recognition within and outside the industry. The program, which provides support through an industry-leading app, helps individuals stay connected and engaged, while also providing one-on-one access to their own personal nationally-certified recovery coach.