September 10th is Global Suicide Prevention Day.
Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. In 2017, more than 47,000 people died of suicide, and there were 1.4 million suicide attempts.
September marks National Suicide Prevention Month, and employers can play a major role in addressing the issue.
Here are a few tips employers can do to help with suicide prevention:
1. Educate managers and employees about warning signs.
While depression is most commonly associated with suicide, there are often many factors involved. Staff members and managers should be trained to spot risk factors and warning signs of suicide. When they see a colleague in distress, they can immediately reach out to HR. That’s the first step toward offering much-needed support.
Warning signs include withdrawing from activities, prolonged and untreated depression or anxiety, and aggression or talk of feeling trapped or hopeless. Consider developing or sharing a resource with staff that lists risk factors and warning signs, and what to do should they or a colleague experience any signs.
2. Create a culture in which mental health can be talked about openly.
The stigmatization of mental health issues and the topic of suicide can often increase feelings of shame and hopelessness among those already experiencing suicidal thoughts, making matters worse. Foster a compassionate culture by training managers to spot the warning signs and allowing employees to talk openly about their feelings.
Offering a comprehensive employee assistance program (EAP), such as Ulliance’s Life Advisor EAP, gives employees the opportunity to meet and talk with a counselor, identify approaches and solutions, and provide resources for additional help.
3. Include mental health in health and wellness programs.
It should be considered equally as important as physical health when it comes to employee benefits. Providing intervention and early treatment for mental health disorders can help prevent future serious and more costly conditions for employees. Incorporating stress management, work-life balance, and even sleep programs into a wellness program help contribute to a higher quality of life for employees.
Investing in the right EAP or Wellness Program to support your employees will help them and help you. How can we help you? Visit www.ulliance.com, or call 866-648-8326.
Educate your employees and yourself on Suicide Prevention.
Download the Ulliance Suicide Prevention toolkit that offers a power point with discussion points and an free on-demand webinar that assists with ways to talk about suicide.