Executing a successful suicide prevention program at work requires making sure that there are enough people trained to recognise the risk and taking steps to provide appropriate and effective support. Here are some ways you can achieve this:
- Promote good mental health and destigmatize mental health problems
The best prevention strategy is early intervention. Leaders can help reduce the risk for suicide by building a culture where mental health matters and asking for help is not taboo. You can do this by talking about mental health and therapy in company-wide meetings or mid-level manager one-on-one meetings to promote its importance and advocating or promoting pro-mental health work benefits such as paid mental health days, sufficient vacation time, and other policies that acknowledge the importance of both physical and mental health.
- Extend support and psychological health services.
According to the results of the MindNation 2020 Pulse Survey, 42% of employees named “access to psychologists” as one of the top ways companies can support their mental health and well-being.
- Reduce stress at work.
It’s important that managers help employees maintain work-life balance and make time for self-care so that they can manage stress better. This can be done by fostering an atmosphere where a direct report can bring feedback whenever they need assistance, and setting clear goals and then giving employees the freedom they need to reach those goals.
- Prevent and take action against bullying and harassment.
Bullying, harassment, and intimidation in the workplace adds to stress at work, which can aggravate mental health challenges and increase the risk of suicide. Employers have a legal and moral obligation to provide a safe and positive work environment in which the rights of all employees are respected equally. You can do this by adopting a zero-tolerance policy towards bullying in any form, and act swiftly and decisively when allegations are made.
- Educate and train managers and other key staff on mental health and suicide prevention.
Managers are in the best position to observe changes in behaviour or hear from co-workers that someone appears to be having difficulties. MindNation conducts virtual trainings on topics like Mental Health First Aid and Managing Depression And Suicide to boost awareness as well as interpersonal and social competencies.