10th September. To you, it may have been just another ordinary workday. It may have passed by without a second thought. But to us, the 10th September holds a significant meaning. Every year, the 10th September is recognised as World Suicide Prevention Day; a crucial awareness day that aims to prevent suicides and provide support to those who may be struggling with their mental health.
As a recruitment agency that specialises in helping those with mental health conditions get back into work, we thought this would be the perfect opportunity to talk about suicide prevention in the workplace.
Regardless of your industry or business size, as an employer, you are responsible for supporting the mental and physical health of your employees. In this blog, we’re going to share our expert tips on how to be mindful of suicide prevention in your workforce.
The Importance Of Prioritising Suicide Prevention In The Workplace
As devastating as it is, we cannot escape the fact that death by suicide is increasing. In 2018, there were 6,507 suicides in the United Kingdom, a 10.9% increase on the previous year.
Further studies carried out by the charity Samaritans show that men are three times more likely to take their own life than women, and the highest suicide rate is among men aged 45-49. Furthermore, the suicide rate in under 25’s has increased year on year, with the number of females under the age of 25 taking their own life reaching an all-time high in 2019.
These startling statistics may show trends, but it is important to remember that mental health conditions do not discriminate. They can affect anyone, including your employees.
Being mindful of suicide prevention in your workforce begins with prioritising employee mental health. The workplace can have a significant impact on our mental health and according to the Mental Health Foundation, 1 in 6.8 people experience mental health problems in the workplace.
Every year, up to 300,00 people with mental health issues lose their job. This statistic is particularly worrying consider ‘poor job security’ and ‘loss of a job’ are two key factors that can increase the risk of suicide.
Top Tips For Being Mindful Of Suicide Prevention In The Workplace
The fantastic mental health charity Mind has stated that more needs to be done to help those who are struggling. Are you doing enough to prioritise employee mental health and suicide prevention in your workforce?
If not, it is time to take action. Here are our top tips for being mindful of suicide prevention in your workforce:
Create An Open Workplace Environment
The majority of people do not feel comfortable discussing their mental health in the workplace. As an employer, it is your responsibility to change this. By fostering an open and honest environment that actively supports the health and wellbeing of employees, you may encourage your staff to open up about their mental health conditions.
By providing training sessions for your workforce on mental health and suicide prevention, they will become familiar with the resources available to them. They will be able to look out for the signs and intervene if they believe a colleague is struggling. Providing training also demonstrates that your business cares about the wellbeing of its workforce.
World Suicide Prevention Day is one of many calendar days that raise awareness for mental health. These days are so significant because of the stigma that still surrounds mental health. By educating your employees on common mental health conditions and suicide prevention, you can help break down the barriers to better mental health care.
Make Use Of Tools Available To You
A range of charities and organisations, such as Public Health England, provide toolkits, information packs and advice to help businesses put suicide prevention strategies into place. Here are a few of our favourite guides:
- Preventing Suicide At Work – World Health Organisation
- Suicide Prevention Toolkit
- Suicide Prevention – Centre For Workplace Mental Health
As the above articles/guides will tell you, providing support is key for suicide prevention in the workplace. Perhaps provide a point of contact that employees can approach if they are struggling with their mental health. Or have a dedicated support service for employees. Ensure employees are aware of the support available to them, both within the organisation and in the community. You could also provide the opportunity for your employees to speak to trained health workers.
Know The Signs (and Intervention Steps)
If an employee or colleague is feeling suicidal, there may be indicators or signs. For example, they may withdraw from those around them and isolate themselves, express feelings of hopelessness, behave erratically or make a point of saying goodbye to friends and family. There is a whole range of sings and intervention steps. As an employer, you should not only be aware of these yourself but should also make your workforce aware of them.
Get In Touch
At Mindful Partners, we work with employers to carefully match job roles with the perfect candidate. We aim to help people who are recovering from mental health conditions get back to a job they love. Are you looking for a recruitment agency with a soul? Get in touch.