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‘MacGyver’ Actor Lucas Till Says Abusive Work Environment Led to Suicidal Thoughts

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Editor's Note

If you experience suicidal thoughts or have lost someone to suicide, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741.

What happened: “MacGyver” star Lucas Till is opening up about on-set abuse, mistreatment and suicidal thoughts. On Monday, the actor told Vanity Fair he was repeatedly criticized for his appearance by former showrunner Peter Lenkov. Till said criticism made him consider taking his own life, highlighting the harmful mental health impact of a toxic work environment. While Lenkov has denied any and all allegations of abuse, he was removed from his role as executive producer on “MacGyver” and “Magnum P.I.” earlier this month.

The way Peter treats people is just unacceptable. I was suicidal that first year on the show because of the way he made me feel. — Lucas Till

The Frontlines: Workplace abuse, which is just one way employers create a toxic work environment, is not uncommon.

  • According to the 2010 Workplace Bullying Survey — conducted by the Workplace Bullying Institute — 50% of the American workforce has been bullied and/or harassed
  • However, only 37% of workers report workplace abuse
  • Workplace abuse — as with all other forms of abuse — can lead to mental distress, emotional distress and/or suicidal thoughts

Get more on mental health: Sign up for our weekly mental health newsletter.

A Mighty Voice: Our contributor, Heidi Fischer, pointed out a few signs of a toxic work environment while sharing the impact it can have. “If you face daily major stresses, you constantly feel devalued and begin and end your day dreading your job, you may be in a toxic situation. It’s a problem not only because it’s not fun, but because it can significantly impact your mental health.” You can submit your first-person story, too.

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Other things to know: Think your job may be impacting your mental health? Check out these Mighty articles from others who have been there:

Get help: If you’re stuck in a toxic work environment that’s impacting your mental health, know you are not alone. There is help and hope. For workplace resources, check out Mental Health America’s Mind the Workplace here.

Header image via Lucas Till/Instagram

Originally published: July 22, 2020
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