March 2014 Lyon, France. You may remember the shocking headline:

Orange France investigates second wave of suicides among staff

Ten employees killed themselves in the first three months of 2014, most over what the company, formerly France Télécom) says are “work-related” reasons.

Between the beginning of January 2008 and April 2011, more than 60 France Télécom employees committed suicide, some leaving notes blaming stress and misery at work.

Although there haven’t been such notable concentrations of workplace suicides at one company in the U.S.,  270 people committed suicide at work in 2013, the last year for which data are available—a 12 percent increase over the previous  year.

There are over one million  suicides worldwide each year. The rate is continuing to rise -- particularly in the workplace, according to a new study by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

There were 1,700 suicides on the job in the United States between 2003 and 2010. The study also found that workplace suicides were 15 times higher for men than for women.

This speaker and writer urges preventative measures in the workplace where mental illness costs $44 billion in lost wages in the United States each year, yet many employees may not report their illness or seek treatment due to stigma or the fear of losing their jobs.

Fear of stigma in the workplace is a very personal matter to me as I watched my Father hide his mental illness from his employer until he died of heart disease at 62.  (Depression Stigma: A Family Tragedy)

In business, of course, there is always a bottom line:

The economic cost of suicide death in the U.S. was estimated in 2010 to be more than $44 billion annually. With the burden of suicide falling most heavily on adults of working age, the cost to the economy results almost entirely from lost wages and work productivity.

To being prioritizing mental health in the workplace, according to John. F. Greden, M.D., executive director of the University of Michigan Comprehensive Depression Center is to focus on the office atmosphere. Center.

"Employers can establish new and innovative workplace mental health programs that are tailored to the population that they have working there," Greden told HuffPost. "They can inform workers where to turn for help if they're struggling. They can create a climate that encourages employees to talk to each other when things aren't going well."

Arthur Miller’s play Death of a Saleman points to the danger faced by many workers. It is about Willie Loman’s struggle. His wife Linda said:

“I don't say he's a great man. Willie Loman never made a lot of money. His name was never in the paper. He's not the finest character that ever lived. But he's a human being, and a terrible thing is happening to him. So attention must be paid. He's not to be allowed to fall in his grave like an old dog. Attention, attention must finally be paid to such a person.”

          --Linda, regarding Willy. Act I

Linda’s speech is a direct cry to human dignity. All men deserve respect and attention. No human being is disposable. No man should die without feeling he mattered. That is how a depressed employee feels until he or she is treated by a professional, but getting to treatment means getting past stigma.

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