Advertisment

Advertisment

Home » News » » Reach out (please) – World Suicide Prevention Day

Reach out (please) – World Suicide Prevention Day

10 September 2023

Story by
Genevieve Bland Writer - The HR World

World Suicide Prevention Day

MHFA England revealed over 75% of employees do not believe suicide prevention is part of their organisation’s wellbeing strategy.

In recent years, mental health initiatives have become more common in the workplace, particularly with hybrid/remote working, where sometimes the only interactions employees may have with co-workers are via a screen.

However, research by Mental Health First Aid England, who offer expert guidance and training to support mental health, shows there is still a stigma surrounding mental health in the workplace. According to data, work issues could be the cause of 650 suicides in the UK each year, representing 10% of suicides.

Breaking the taboo

With over 1 in 20 people who make a suicide attempt at some point in their lives, MHFA found that many in the workforce lack the appropriate knowledge and tools to help someone who is struggling.

Among a survey of 2,000 people in work, about 1/3 of people (33%) believed that mentioning suicide could induce a thought in someone’s head. Only 13% of individuals know to ask a colleague if they are concerned about whether they have a plan to end their life with 40% unsure if directly asking someone was the right thing to do.

Caroline Nokes-Lawrence is Head of ICB People at Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Integrated Care Board, her organisation worked with MHFA England to train employees in suicide first aid skills and awareness.

She expressed how it can be harder to reach out to co-workers in the new digital work landscape: “Following the pandemic, we were doing regular temperature checks with staff, asking them whether they felt supported and what they felt was missing. While there are huge advantages of flexible working, we were getting a lot of feedback around wellbeing. We noticed there was a gap. We were no longer having those ‘water cooler’ moments, where you would usually socialise and check in with each other.

“One of our Mental Health First Aiders raised suicide prevention training as something we could benefit from as an organisation. There is still stigma around suicide that prevents people from talking about the topic.”

Improving mental health conversations at work

The study found that less than 1 in 5 (19%) employees would talk about having suicidal thoughts and only a third (33%) would discuss mental health issues with their manager.

Troubling as evidence suggests that having an open conversation about suicide to someone who is struggling with those thoughts can save their life.

Mrs. Nokes-Lawrence added: “We would encourage all employers to consider how they can layer suicide prevention into their existing policies to help tackle the stigma and encourage lifesaving conversations.

“We decided to implement Suicide First Aid training to increase our employee’s confidence and skills in talking about suicide appropriately and sensitively in the workplace. The training has formed an important part of our wider approach to mental health and wellbeing, building upon the skills of our existing mental health first aiders and others.

“It sends a strong message to all our employees and peer organisations that they can speak confidently about mental health and suicide at work, and support is available.”

To find out more about how MHFA England’s training and consultancy can support your workplace with suicide prevention and to access a resource on how to support someone experiencing suicide thoughts or behaviour: https://mhfaengland.org/mhfa-centre/campaigns/world-suicide-prevention-day-2023/

If someone is at immediate risk of attempting suicide, dial 999. If someone is having thoughts of suicide encourage them to call Samaritans on 116 123.

 

Topics

Share

Advertisment

Latest Events

It’s All HR’s Fault

Despite being a trusted voice in the C-suite, HR is still viewed with distrust and outright disdain by many employees – the very people HR is there to support.
It's all HRs Fault Webinar

Jan 24 – Health and Wellbeing – Making it Personal

If you’re investing in a health and wellbeing strategy, you want to make sure it meets the needs of your workforce.

Jun 2023: HR Data – The Key To Delivering Real Value

This webinar on HR Data brought home the importance of understanding the value of people data not just to HR but to the business as a whole.
HR on demand event - HR data: the key to delivering real value

Apr 2023 – HR Tech: Ensuring your technology delivers for all your people

Technology continues to throw challenges at the HR function as the speed of change increases and new technology (anyone noticed something called AI?) enters the arena.
HR tech on demand webinar with Sympa

Nov 2023 – Reward and Recognition for the International Workforce

In this webinar we explored the dispersed workplace and asked what it means to support employees all over the world.
Reward and Recognition for the International Workforce

Dec 2023 – Year in Review 2023

In this webinar we brought back some of our previous 2023 webinar speakers who gave their view on the past 12 months.

AI as part of the hiring, on-boarding and retention processes

The HR World and Sanderson Managed Services Ltd held an exclusive Round Table dinner to further the discussion of AI among Senior HR Leaders.

RPO Market – Insource, Outsource or Hybrid: What are the best solutions?

The HR World and Sanderson Managed Services Ltd held an exclusive Round Table dinner to explore and debate the current RPO arena.

Resourcing Models, Insource, Outsource or Hybrid what are the best solutions?

Discussions on the evening were led by two invited experts Jim Richardson, with spells at Santander and Royal Bank of Scotland as Global Head of Talent, Jim now advises corporate businesses on their TA models, and, Ross Crook, Managing Director at Sanderson Solutions.
Resourcing models round table

Mar 2023 – Equality, diversity, and inclusion: Reshaping thinking for action

In this webinar we explored how ED&I can have a real impact for businesses. At the centre of the discussion was the idea of changing thinking in order to make things happen.
Equality, diversity, and inclusion: Reshaping thinking for action

Feb 2023 – Leading With Agility: How to give your business the behaviours and mindsets it needs for volatile times

This webinar took as its focus agility and how businesses can develop and maintain these skills among its workforce.
This webinar took as its focus agility and how businesses can develop and maintain these skills among its workforce.

Jan 2023 – How can you create a culture of health and wellbeing in the workplace?

This webinar tackled the important and timely issue of creating a health and wellbeing culture in the workplace.
How can you create a culture of health and wellbeing in the workplace?

AI and Technology: A Swift Return on Investment

As technology becomes more sophisticated, tailored and impressive, HR has a considerable task on its hands to understand what solution or system is best for its business.

Sep 2023 – Retention: Holding on to The Talent You Need

The post-pandemic workforce now presents more of a challenge in terms of feeling satisfied and content in the workplace. This webinar on retention also provided a masterclass on employee engagement.
Retention holding on to the talent you need

Oct 2023 – Talent Acquisition: Why your Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is more important than ever

This webinar addressing talent acquisition majored on the Employee Value Proposition (EVP).
Talent Acquisition – Why your Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is more important than ever

Compensation Planning – The key to a motivated and satisfied workforce

Compensation and reward strategies have changed radically over the past few years with the impact of the pandemic and the trends that followed.
Compensation Planning - The key to a motivated and satisfied workforce

Streamlining Year-End HR Operations

Providing seasonal support, ideas and inspiration, this webinar covered the challenges and opportunities presented to HR professionals at this time of year.
Streamlining year-end HR operations

Aug 2023 – Professional Development: Making the Step Up

What does it take to be an HR Director, or to take a position at Board level? This webinar looked at professional development for HR leaders.
What does it take to be an HR Director?

Jul 2023 – Employee Benefits: Then, now and next

The importance and value of giving employees choice on rewards and recognition.
Employee benefits, then now and next.

May 2023 – AI in HR: The Perfect Balance

AI is hitting the headlines right now as experts forecast a future that’s powered by tech. But what will this mean for HR?
On demand hr webinar - Ai in HR

Hiring Gen Z – what can employers learn about emerging talent in 2023?

Join us at this cross-learning, in-person event as part of The HR World Culture Clash series at RSA House in London on 20 Oct 2022.
Hiring Gen Z: Culture Clash Panellists

Bridging the gap: what can employers learn about emerging talent to drive better hiring strategies?

Join us at this cross-learning, in-person event as part of The HR World Culture Clash series, bringing HRDs, founders and emerging talent together to build a better workforce for the future.
Bridging the gap: what can employers learn about emerging talent to drive better hiring strategies?
HRW Membership@2x@2x

Are you a senior HR professional?

Join our membership to shape the future of work, get exclusive access to events, white papers and research content, profile your work, gain access to support from HR experts and celebrate your successes.

Become a Partner

Please get in touch to talk about how we can help your business make an impact in the world of work through our content marketing, partnership plans and advertising.