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Learn how to understand the risk factors of suicide, the key elements of workplace suicide prevention and how to respond in a crisis.
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Mental Health in the context of COVID-19 This mini-course highlights areas of suicidality and mental distress in light of the pandemic and suggest tools to help you provide support.
Introduction from Doctor Rebecca Osborne
In the UK, suicide is a significant cause of death for people under 50 years old. For example, around 2,000 people are killed on UK roads every year, but over 6,000 people die by suicide in the UK each year.
In 2018 6,507 suicides were registered in the UK. 75% were males and 25% were females. (ONS, 2019)
We also know that men from the lowest social class, living in the most deprived areas, are up to ten times more likely to end their lives by suicide.
## Poor mental health costs UK employers up to £45 billion each year.
But for every £1 spent by employers on mental health interventions, they get back £5 in reduced absence, presenteeism, and staff turnover. (Deloitte, 2020)
Understanding employee mental health
Suicidal thoughts are common, and now more than ever, people around you may be struggling with feeling hopeless or fearful about the future.
This may be caused by uncertainty over their employment or finances; or the health of themselves or others, for example on returning to a workplace after shielding.
Stigma around mental health issues and suicide, may make it difficult for someone to disclose these feelings, so it is important that we make it as easy as possible for our colleagues, friends and family to share how they're feeling and ask for help.
Some physical signs of mental health issues include: Frequent headaches & suffering from minor illnesses Difficulty sleeping and being rundown Lack of care over appearance
Some behavioural signs of mental health issues include: Being withdrawn and not participating in conversations Loss of confidence Difficulty remembering things
How may mental health issues appear in the workplace?
It is important to know that using the word suicide will not put the idea into someone’s head or make it more likely to happen.
If someone is thinking about suicide, you’ll stand a much better chance of supporting them if you know about these thoughts, and if they are not thinking of suicide they’ll soon put you straight.
**How to ask about suicide: **
If you're worried about someone listen to your instincts, and find some time and privacy to ask them how they are.
Start with a question you feel comfortable asking - 'How are you doing?' "Are you OK?"
Reflect what you've noticed that has made you worry - 'I've noticed you're not seeming yourself lately, how are things?'
Give the person your full attention and the time and space to say what they are really feeling.
Don't feel the need to rush in and offer suggestions and advice, just show you genuinely care if they are struggling.
Frame the question to make it easy to give an honest answer - 'That sounds really tough, has it got so bad lately that you've had thoughts of suicide?' 'Sometimes when people are dealing with as much as you have, they have thoughts of wanting to end their life, is that something you've been thinking of?'
Don’t wait for the “perfect' time to ask about suicide. Ask the question, because suicide is preventable, and you can help to keep someone safe.
Toolkit for suicide prevention
Building a safe workplace, especially given the current landscape, can involve a range of practical policies and drivers. Let's take a look at what this entails.
What are some additional elements of workplace suicide prevention?
Creating a compassionate workplace also ensures that your employees feel understood and respected, especially during times of uncertainty.
A Safety Plan is a useful tool that can help to give structure to making a plan with someone having suicidal thoughts.
Safety Plan Here's a look at an example safety plan.
The first page covers reasons for living, warning signs, coping strategies, sources of distraction, personal contacts, professional contacts, creating a safer environment.
The back page covers things to help them get through the moment, and useful contacts.
What does the Safety Plan cover? Select all that apply
Safety planning gives someone a simple, personalised plan to put into place if things get worse later tonight, next week or next month.
The peak of a suicidal crisis can often build quickly, but may also be short-lived.
Asking someone to make some distance between themselves and the means they had considered to take their own life as part of the safety plan, can be a powerful part of a suicide safety plan.
For example, keeping only a small amount of required medication to hand, rather than a larger supply that may be dangerous in overdose.
True or False? If someone has the means to end their life close at hand, then they may be more likely to end their own life impulsively, perhaps after an argument or after drinking alcohol, than if they have taken steps to reduce access to the means of suicide that had been in their thoughts.
**Samaritans ** 116 123 Samaritans.org Open 24/7 for anyone who needs to talk. You can visit some branches in person.
Stay Alive Prevent-suicide.org.uk App with help and resources for people who feel suicidal or are supporting someone else. Includes a customisable safety plan that individuals can create and build over time.
Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) 0800 58 58 58 (UK helpline) thecalmzone.net Provides listening services, information and support for men at risk of suicide, including a web chat.
Papyrus HOPELINEUK 0800 068 41 41 07786 209697 (text) papyrus-uk.org Confidential support for under-35s at risk of suicide and others who are concerned about them.
Professional Resources Promote ways to ways to stay mentally well to your staff, such as the NHS 5-ways to mental wellbeing
**Mental Health First Aid England ** Useful Resources for workplaces, online and face-to-face training for organisations to help you manage health and wellbeing proactively, minimise the impact of mental ill health on your business and your people, and promote and maintain healthy workplaces.
Zero Suicide Alliance Simple, free 20-minute online suicide awareness training.
Thank you for taking the time to learn about Suicide Prevention. Remember to: Watch out for those around you Ask the question if you are concerned Take opportunities to learn about staying mentally well, and share this learning with others Know that by listening, offering hope that things can be better, and helping someone seek further support, you can save a life.
I have learnt how to prevent suicide. I will help the person if he/she has such warning signs and thoughts.
This is ok. As a basic introduction and invites the learner to topics they can look up later
Have learnt the reason underlying