TODAY (10 SEPTEMBER) MARKS World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD), a day in which organisations across the world raise awareness about suicide prevention. With over 6,507 suicides registered in the UK last year alone, it is vital we open up this conversation.
The latest figures released by the Office of National Statistics for 2018 report that suicide rates have risen for the first time since 2013.
James Rudoni, Managing Director of Mates in Mind said, “We know that we have a big challenge, and this does not deter us – to the contrary, it emphasises that more needs to be done. This should remain a priority issue overall, but that there is also a need to focus on men in their late 40s who remain the highest-risk group by age.
“What we also know from data previously reported by the ONS (2017) is that this risk is elevated in some sectors of the economy, such as construction. Within construction, the suicide risk is three times the national average for site workers.
“We affirm there is both a moral, as well as clear business case, for organisations to be aware of this issue. They must understand that they have a duty of care and recognise that they can play a critical role in tackling it.
“Just getting people to create a space at work to open up a conversation about mental health 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 message 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.
Over the last two years, our experience in supporting more than 300 organisations has shown us that Mates in Mind can make a meaningful difference to how an organisation supports the mental health of its people.
“We’ve seen the industry respond, and with the Stop. Make a Change campaign it again provides the opportunity for workplaces and sites around the country to do just that. We encourage businesses to download our resource pack or get in touch with Mates in Mind for more advice and support.”
To find out how to get involved with Mates in Mind, get in touch with our dedicated Programme Support Team on 020 3510 5018.