World Suicide Prevention Day

World Suicide Prevention Day – 10th September

World Suicide Prevention Day is observed on the 10th of September, it started in 2003 and is held annually on the same day every year.  This day is recognised for businesses, government agencies, the media and others to be able to promote awareness to all about suicide, suicide prevention and the mental health illness associated with it.

Data by the WHO shows that on average 3000 people commit suicide daily and for every one person who commits suicide another 20 have attempted to take their own life.

In the UK statistics show that men are three times more likely to commit suicide than women, this is heart-breaking.

Over the last ten years, there has been a decrease in the number of people that commit suicide, but the numbers are still too high.

Activities and events for World Suicide Prevention day

Organisations including the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and World Health Organisation (WHO) play a very important role in World Suicide Prevention Day.

The activities and events include:

  • Launch of new initiatives to prevent suicide
  • Open days and conferences about suicide prevention
  • Media activities to promote awareness and preventions
  • Memorial services for those who have died from suicide
  • Training courses on depression and suicide awareness

How Employers Can help

Employers have a legal duty to take care of their employees and to provide them with a safe working environment.

By managing risks in the workplace, assisting with work-related stress and having measures in place for the prevention of unfair treatment, such as harassment and bullying in the workplace, all help to achieve a mentally healthy workplace.

Employers should create a kind working environment, where employees feel they can ask for help with issues or concerns should they have them, especially if they are having suicidal thoughts or suffering from depression.

Support needs to be on hand for employees to assist with their wellbeing and options available if an employee needs help.

Many companies offer employee assistance programmes (EAP) or have occupational health experts they use to refer employees to for help and assistance.

Looking out for warning signs

The same with depression and other mental health issues, warning signs of suicide are not always visible, mental health is an illness and people who suffer from it can be good at hiding this from others.

The WHO advises employers to be on the lookout for the following signs that could indicate either depression or suicidal thoughts/feelings in employees:

  • Talking about their thoughts or feelings about wanting to end their life
  • Talking about being useless or not doing anything right or that they having nothing to live for
  • Feeling isolated, lonely or losing self-esteem or dwelling on problems
  • Stopping interaction with their colleagues, being withdrawn from the real world, not sleeping well, mood swings
  • Decrease in work performance, attendance and attitude
  • Drug or Alcohol abuse

Prevention of Suicide in the Workplace

No matter how big or small a company is, the death of a colleague, from suicide creates shock, grief, guilt and confusion amongst the workforce. It is important that employers handle these situations with empathy and provide support to employees, it is also important employers do as much as they can to help prevent suicide, this can be done through employee wellbeing.

The best way for employers to prevent suicide is to ensure they:

  • Create and promote a working environment where communication is key and employees feel they can speak to someone about anything
  • Support employees and help to identify employees who are in need of help and at risk of suicide
  • Be prepared on how to respond to a suicide death

If you would like to find out more about how we can help implement employee assistance programmes for you or any other HR topic please contact Clover HR on 0121 516 0299 or email us at info@cloverhr.co.uk

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