Suicide Prevention Awareness in the Workplace

If you are on social media, you’ve seen the hashtags this past week about #WSPD16 and #IKeptLiving in support of World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10, 2016. The month of September is Suicide Prevention Month, and many of us have been affected by suicide on a personal level in one way or another. As we join together on Twitter and Instagram and Facebook, Peoplescape would like to be a part of this movement in sharing our stories and promoting health and wellness across the world, including suicide prevention in the workplace. Here, we will point out some tips and tools that you can use in your organization to make sure that your employees are informed, supported, and educated on this tough subject. According to Christopher Munch, creator of the Suicide Prevention App noted below, “Often times when an individual is experiencing a mental health crisis, people within that individual’s immediate support network are ill-prepared to ask the right questions about self-harm and suicide. The Suicide Prevention App (SPA) is a free tool that educates anyone and everyone how to ask the right questions about self-harm and suicide, and respond to the answers to those questions.” We want to equip companies across the globe with the tools to assist their employees as needed, even with these very sensitive issues.

A few organizations and apps will be helpful for you to know. Here’s our top seven:

 

  • Wellness Works
    1. http://www.wellnessworksmentalhealth.org/
    2. Wellness Works is a workplace mental health training program of MHAC, which is a leading edge program that utilizes award-winning curriculum to reduce the stigma and discrimination while increasing effectiveness of workplaces to respond supportively when employees are struggling with mental health issues.
  • Mental Health Association in California (MHAC)
    1. http://mhac.org/
    2. With locations across the state, including Los Angeles, Sacramento and San Diego, MHAC seeks through advocacy and education to ensure that people of all ages, sexual orientation, gender, ethnicity, etc. who require mental health services are able to live full and productive lives, receive the services they need, and are not denied benefits, services, rights, or opportunities because of their need for mental health services.
  • International Association for Suicide Prevention
    1. https://www.iasp.info/wspd/
    2. Supported by the World Health Organization to provide resources for those in need of services or those wanting to promote #WSPD16 and #IKeptLiving on social media with banners and images
  • SuicidePreventionApp
    1. http://www.suicidepreventionapp.com/?gclid=CP_y3J2PgM8CFZFffgodM0wEhA
    2. This is a FREE app, and provides a step-by-step assessment that an HR professional (or management team) could use in the workplace when discussing a situation with an employee, complete with a report at the end to advise on the next steps.
    3. Operating under the theory quote, “What if anyone could assess for suicide, how many lives would be saved?”
    4. This video gives some content to how to go about engaging someone you suspect may be experiencing thoughts of suicide. https://youtu.be/U8gr94xkxsE
  • To Write Love on Her Arms
    1. https://twloha.com/
    2. #IKeptLiving is a campaign that has been promoted and shared by To Write Love on Her Arms. TWLOHA is a well-known social action and mental health support group for millennials. They host concerts and tour colleges and venues across the nation to spread the word and share their story of hope and survival.
  • Crisis Text Line
    1. http://www.crisistextline.org/
    2. TWLOHA has partnered with Crisis Text Line to offer FREE, 24/7 support for those in crisis. Simply text “TWLOHA” to 741-741. Spread the word!

 

Of course, these resources do no good at all if they aren’t put into practice. As human resources professionals, we have seen a trend of businesses holding their own customized training that addresses workplace safety involving mental illness. Leaders in this field, such as Donna Hardaker from MHAC, have a great personal interest in promoting suicide prevention awareness and developing and sharing the tools for employers to be prepared and to respond to tragedy and disasters with care and proper procedures. Donna says that employers can build and maintain socially supportive workplaces. “We know that when employees have a sense that someone cares about them at work, their mental health is protected. Social support also serves to protect people who are thinking of suicide. Believing that they are cared about at work makes a difference.”

Peoplescape is proud to partner with these top-notch professionals to promote health, wellness, safety, and security to our clients and companies around the globe. #wellness #health #safety #security #mentalhealth #IKeptLiving #firstaid #training