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Harm Prevention and Meaningful Conversations in the Workplace
The impacts of suicide on people, families, and communities are widespread and far-reaching, making it a major public health concern. According to the World Health Organization, there are 703,000 individuals who commit suicide each year, and many more who attempt to end their own life. The numbers are alarming.
Organisations as Mental Health Advocates
Companies can play a significant role in preventing harm, promoting meaningful conversations, and supporting employees through their mental health journey.
- Recognize the Signs
The first step to preventing harm is to be aware of your own mental health and the mental health of others. Having knowledge about the signs, symptoms and causes of mental illness can help you identify when you or someone else may need help.
There is no one factor that accounts for all suicides. Substance abuse, depression, and a family history of suicide are all risk factors. Neither can they be used to foretell or prevent a suicide attempt, but they are still relevant to recognize.
You will be able to determine whether or not they need assistance by paying attention to the warning indicators.
For example, if a colleague is acting out of character or reporting that they are feeling hopeless or worthless, this may indicate that they are experiencing depression symptoms as opposed to just having a bad day.
- Keep a Connection
If they appear to be showing indications of maybe attempting suicide, you should remain in contact with the individual and suggest they reach out for additional help.
It’s possible that meaningful partnerships, community and connection may alter an individuals perspective on life.
- Encourage Seeking Professional Help
It is important to encourage them to seek professional help. Counseling and therapy services are available via Psychological Health Care to assist individuals in coping with psychological issues such as feelings of depression and suicide-related thoughts.
Their condition will be evaluated by a trained specialist, who will then determine the kind of treatment they will need. This may also aid in reducing the likelihood that the problem will occur again.
- Encourage open and honest conversations
In order to prevent harm and support meaningful conversations about mental health in the workplace, we need to be sure that our employees are comfortable enough with the mental health issues that they feel able to speak openly about them.
This means having a culture where employees feel empowered to share their ideas, opinions, and experiences without fear of judgment or criticism.
It also means being willing as an employer or manager to discuss your own struggles with mental health issues (if you have any) in order to set an example for others. It’s important not just because it will help people feel more comfortable coming forward when they need help, but also because it shows that you care about your employees’ well-being—and this type of caring is contagious!
- Be an R U OK? Workplace Champion
Every September 8th in Australia, R U OK? Day is celebrated.
On this national day of action, Australians are encouraged to check in with those they care about and ask, “are you OK?” if they see any warning indications that they may be having a hard time.
The R U OK? initiative sets 4 basic steps that can change a life:
#1 Ask R U OK?
#3 Encourage action
R U OK? aims to motivate and enable everyone to make meaningful connections and begin a dialogue with individuals in their sphere of influence who may be experiencing difficulties in life.
Check out R U OK? today to learn more about its initiatives.
At Catalyst Central, we do this every day. We check in, we celebrate, we support and acknowledge challenges finding solutions.
Acknowledging stress and mental health challenges at work doesn’t have to be a big ordeal, but it can make a huge difference for both the individual and the business.
Suicide prevention may need a significant amount of work, patience, and determination. But through a little initiative, you can help make a big change.
Check in on your loved ones now and ask them the powerful phrase: “R U OK?”
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