World Suicide Prevention Day
Suicide remains one of the top leading causes of death around the world for people of all ages. The International Association for Suicide Prevention’s research shows that there is one suicide in the world every forty seconds. For every one of those suicides, there are 25 suicide attempts. (IASP, 2018). On September 10th, 2018, we are celebrating the 15th annual World Suicide Prevention Day. This day was created in order to spread awareness for those who die, are injured and affected everyday due to death by suicide. It is estimated that for every completed suicide, approximately 135 people suffer intense grief or are otherwise affected (IASP, 2018). Everyone is capable in helping prevent suicide through the power of education. Learn the warning signs, know what to do in a crisis situation and spread awareness to end the stigma.
Mental Health Awareness
There are several different reasons why an individual may take their own life. A commonly known contributing factor to death by suicide is mental illness. Approximately one half of all individuals who take their own life have had a diagnosed mental illness. While the other half may also have met the criteria for mental illness, they weren’t actually diagnosed. Other contributing factors to death by suicide include life stressors, such as financial or relationship issues. It is important for everyone to work together to break down the mental illness stigma to allow individuals to feel free to speak about their struggles without judgment.
What Can You Do
There are several things that any person can do to assist in the prevention of suicide. This includes the following:
- Learn the warning signs – these include suicidal ideation, substance abuse, expression of purposelessness and hopelessness, withdrawal, anger, recklessness and a significant change in mood
- Provide treatment options such as available counseling, including doctors, online counseling and crisis lines [Click Here for a Crisis Line in your area]
- Listen emphatically and without judgment (CMHA, 2018)
In the event where you believe an employee or co-worker are at immediate risk of suicide, here is what you can do:
- Always take suicidal comments very seriously
- Try not to act shocked
- Help the co-worker call your EAP Crisis Line
- Get help immediately – call 911, notify security and manager
- Do not handle the situation by yourself (Gowan Consulting, 2016)
Resiliency and Breaking the Stigma
Prevention and intervention strategies are the most proactive way to decrease death by suicide. Having an open door policy and a judgment-free work environment are important to allow employees to feel comfortable talking about mental health in the workplace. It’s helpful for employers to provide resources for employees, such as health benefits related to mental health, resiliency training and teaching employees the warning sides of suicidal ideation. If you would like to learn more about resiliency, mental health training and other various resources, check out our webinars! Check out our Employee Mental Health Resiliency Training webinar and our Understanding and Supporting Employee Mental Health – Breaking Down the Stigma webinar to learn more!
CMHA. (2018). Preventing Suicide. Retrieved from https://cmha.ca/documents/preventing-suicide
Gowan Consulting. (2016). Employee Mental Health and Resiliency Training Webinar. Retrieved from https://gowanhealth.com/product/employee-mental-health-resiliency-training/
Images retrieved from google.ca/images/suicideprevention
International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP). (2018). World Suicide Prevention Day. Retrieved from https://iasp.info/wspd2018/