Mental health can affect any of us at any time. Globally, approximately 450 million people suffer from some form of mental illness and although there are many channels of help available, nearly two-thirds of people with a known mental disorder never seek help from a health professional and suffer alone.
Thursday 10th October 2019, is World Mental Health Day, and this year’s theme set by the World Federation for Mental Health is – Suicide Prevention. In 2018, there were approximately 6,859 registered deaths by suicide in the UK and Republic of Ireland, equating to an average of 18 suicides per day.
Figures released by the Samaritans show an 11.8% increase in the overall suicide rate across the UK. In particular, the rate of suicide in young people has increased and the suicide rate in young females under 25 is the now the highest on record, highlighting that the need for suicide prevention is greater than ever.
Every life lost to suicide is a tragedy and with one person dying every 40 seconds globally from suicide it is time to stop avoiding the conversation. Everyone can make a difference to others who have reached the point of wanting to end their lives.
Prevention of suicide is where the focus should be, in schools, in workplaces, in local communities to effectively and actively help people before they end up in crisis, and feel that they have no other way out.
Be an Active Employer.
Building awareness and providing robust training in the workplace is crucial when dealing with mental health and suicide prevention.
Most of us will spend more time in the workplace as part of our every day lives than anywhere else, so we should be creating environments with positive attitudes towards mental health. Organisations should be ensuring that their senior leaders and people managers have the language, and skills necessary to deal with all situations effectively, and have the knowledge to correctly signpost individuals who need intervention.
Support someone who is showing signs of being stressed
Sometimes, when it comes to helping others we can feel a little lost, especially when it comes to mental health and emotional wellbeing. However, if someone is showing signs of being stressed there are actually lots of things you can do to support them
Listen to how they are feeling. Having a chance to talk openly could help someone to feel calmer and more able to move forward. Just being there for them will be a bigger help than you may think.
- Reassure them that stressful situations can pass.
- Help them to identify the triggers of their stress.
- Help them to address some causes of stress, if you can.
- Help them to learn and practise relaxation techniques.
- Support them to seek professional help.
- Look after yourself – it’s harder to help someone when you are not at 100% yourself