10th September marks World Suicide Prevention Day, shining a light on those who are at risk of taking their own life and those bereaved by suicide.
The World Health Organisation estimates that over 800,000 people take their own life each year – that’s one person every 40 seconds. Up to 25 times as many again make a suicide attempt.
A Daily Telegraph report said that people spend 47 years of their lives at work, so it’s important that businesses are able to support those affected in the workplace.
Research has shown that employers can play an important role in encouraging employees to:
Break bad habits: Consider offering alcohol-cessation programmes. The risk of suicide is eight times greater when someone is abusing alcohol. British women are now among the world’s top drinkers, and men are more likely to use drugs and alcohol in response to distress.
Talk to someone: Offering mental health first aid training helps managers to spot the signs of stress and anxiety, and to signpost staff to support before issues escalate. The Samaritans highlight the importance of being able to talk about suicidal thoughts as a means of preventing it from occurring, and employers can help support this dialogue. Employee assistance programmes (EAPs) can also provide much-needed access to confidential counselling.
Exercise: Research by the Department of Health highlights how being physically active can reduce someone’s risk of depression by up to 30%. Encouraging staff to exercise can be through company organised fitness classes or providing discounted gym membership.
Take care of health: Mental and physical health are intrinsically linked. Private medical insurance, cash plans, health screening, occupational health are all available to provide support for employees’ physical health, which can also support their mental health.
Click here to read the full SHP Online article.
In 2018 there were 6,507 suicides in the UK with men being three times as likely to die than women and the highest rate being aged between 45-49 years. (Samaritans.org)
The Access to Work Mental Health Support is a service provided by Remploy, funded by the Department for Work and Pensions and has advisers who will help with workplace support, copies strategies, a well-being plan and workplace adjustments.
A poster distributed by Remploy, detailing contact details and further information is available to download here.