Workplaces can play a crucial role in promoting mental health and preventing suicide. Suicide in the workplace is a serious issue, with co-workers often the first to notice signs of distress in their fellow team members. Trends show that certain industries such as construction, farming, healthcare, and the creative fields have alarmingly higher suicide rates compared to national averages. Thankfully, employers are now recognising the need to address this problem and have begun taking action to create safer work environments.
First Step to Suicide Prevention – Suicide Awareness
To address workplace suicide effectively, leaders should start by understanding their workforce’s unique needs. They should openly declare their commitment to suicide prevention, creating an environment where mental health can be discussed candidly.
Did you know?
- One in every 100 deaths worldwide is by suicide
- Men are particularly at risk, with a suicide rate more than twice that of women
- Over half of all suicides occur before the age of 50
How Employers Can Create Hope Through Action
What does the theme of this year’s World Suicide Prevention Day, Creating HOPE through ACTION, look like in the workplace?
Effective workplace suicide prevention strategies can embrace several approaches, including the following:
- Training programmes – encourage participation in workplace mental health and suicide awareness training courses for both individuals and managers.
- Communication strategy – develop open and supportive communication channels that uphold individuals’ lived experiences with suicide.
- Peer support – nurture peer support networks within the workplace to develop a sense of belonging and understanding.
- Mental health services – ensure employees have access to mental health services and resources.
- Self-care empowerment – promote self-care practices and mental well-being initiatives amongst employees.
- Crisis response plans – produce comprehensive crisis response plans to address mental health emergencies effectively.
4 Ways We Can Make a Difference at Work
By taking any, or all, of the following actions we can each contribute to suicide prevention in our workplaces:
- Educate ourselves about workplace suicide prevention
- Consider attending suicide awareness training
- Raise awareness and challenge any stigma within our workplace
- Encourage early intervention and support-seeking behaviours
Suicide awareness in the workplace is essential for both individual well-being and the overall success of an organisation. By taking action and creating a supportive environment, we can all help work towards a world where suicide is preventable, and mental health prioritised.
You can find more information and resources about World Suicide Prevention Day on 10 September on the International Association for Suicide Prevention’s website.