Are we doing enough?

Victoria explains the simple steps that we can all take to make a difference with Mental Health in the workplace.

Ladyboss HR

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It is World Suicide Prevention Day on Saturday (10th September)- an opportunity for people across the globe, to raise awareness of suicide and suicide prevention.  A scary fact I recently learned was that suicide is the single biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the country.  Suicides amongst teenage girls and young women has almost doubled in recent years also.  On a personal level, in the past 2 years I know of 4 people that have taken their life and I have witnessed the devastation that this has brought to their family and friends.

The theme that has been set by the International Association for Suicide Prevention is ‘creating hope through action.’  If we encourage understanding and share experiences, we create a society where people have the confidence to take action and build hope for the future.

What can we do as Employers?  I am going to practice what I preach this month at HPC.  We have finally launched an extensive offering of Mental Wellbeing first aid training and I have committed to put every one of my team on this by the end of 2022.  I am delighted that DIB are also taking this very seriously and have some of their team being trained as you read this too.   In my opinion, a couple of Mental health champions in your business is not enough, we need to educate and raise awareness with everyone.  It is a small financial investment when you look at the bigger picture here.  Suicide is preventable, so we should all be taking action and looking at how we can make a difference and prevent more suicides.

Some sectors experience higher suicide rates and need urgent attention.  Construction workers in the UK are over three times the national average.  At a recent webinar I chaired for HR Directors, we shared the concerns we all have surrounding the wellbeing of our people, as the cost-of-living crisis adds further financial pressures.  We are seeing an increase in redundancies, uncertainty…. I would challenge that full remote working is not helping the situation.

We can all take simple steps to make a difference;

Educate – Invest in your people and pay for them to have a better understanding of mental health, how to look out for signs, raise awareness and signpost.

Raise Awareness – We need to remove the stigma and be more open within our businesses.    Creating a work environment that values wellbeing and promotes a sense of belonging and respect with open conversations about mental health.

Look out for warning signs for those that are not coping -This links back to people in our businesses being trained to understand what sort of signs to look for.

You don’t have to have all the answers – People are often reluctant to intervene, for many reasons.  Individuals in distress are often not looking for specific advice.  Empathy, compassion, genuine concern, knowledge of resources and a desire to help are key to preventing tragedy.

Good internal communications – Make sure employees are aware of the support that is available and how to access this.

Don’t be afraid to ask someone if they are suicidal – Evidence suggests that the offer of support and a listening ear are more likely to reduce distress as opposed to exacerbate it.  The listening ear of someone with compassion, empathy and a lack of judgement can help restore hope.

In summary 1. Know the signs 2. Find the words and 3. Reach out

Together we can save lives. 

If you would like to find out more information about our Mental Wellbeing First Aid courses, please contact daniel@highperformanceconsultancy.com.

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