This World Suicide Prevention Day, Mates in Mind is calling on employers to take meaningful steps to normalise conversations about mental ill-health and prevention of suicide within the workplace.
With over 6,507 suicides registered in the UK in 2018 alone, it is vital that employers can start this conversation in the workplace and support their employees.
Here at Mates in Mind, we believe breaking the silence and stigma surrounding mental ill-health is a crucial step towards providing a safe and healthy workplace environment, which can play a vital role in suicide prevention.
Mates in Mind Managing Director, James Rudoni comments: “We know that the effect on those impacted by suicide is lasting and we believe that every suicide is a preventable death. Mental health can be a difficult topic to address, but anything mentionable is manageable.
“What we know from data previously reported by the ONS (2018) is that the risk of suicide is elevated in some sectors of the economy, such as construction, which is three times the national average for site workers, which is why we exist, to help support these sectors in bridging the mental health gaps and supporting their workforces.
“Opening up an honest conversation about mental health in the workplace continues to be the most immediate and effective starting point. We cannot underestimate this important first step – helping to provide clear language, create general awareness and help people to recognise that everyone has mental health the same way that they have physical health. In this space, part of the messaging is about people recognising the signs in themselves, but awareness also is about enabling people to spot the changes in behaviour in others, combined with having increased confidence to know how to appropriately open up a conversation with a colleague.
“Our experience in supporting hundreds of organisations has shown us that the work we do here at Mates in Mind can make a meaningful difference to the wellbeing of an organisation and its people. This awareness day provides an opportunity for workplaces and sites across the country to get involved and start a conversation which could save a life”
Research suggests that open and honest communication about mental ill-health supports steps towards suicide prevention, because these important conversations have the power to increase awareness and understanding, remind people they are not alone and help break the stigma which can be a barrier for those seeking help. In light of this, we are encouraging workplaces across the UK to use this opportunity to #StartTheConversation within the workplace.
To support these conversations, Mates in Mind is launching a Suicide Prevention Day hub, with resources and information to support these vital discussions.