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Create a positive work culture to prevent suicide

14 September 2020

WORLD SUICIDE Prevention Day took place on 10 September, and IOSH gave a timely reminder that organisations need to create a positive culture at work where people are able to talk openly about their thoughts.

Worldwide, around 800,000 people die due to suicide every year – one person every 40 seconds. It is the 15th leading cause of death globally, accounting for 1.4 per cent of all deaths. The rates are higher among men than women, and more than 130 people are affected by each suicide death.

Having a positive work culture will help organisations to intervene and signpost those in need to appropriate support before it’s too late, says IOSH.

IOSH OSH content development manager Judith McNulty-Green said, “To manage mental ill-health at work requires leadership, knowledge, understanding and commitment from everyone in the organisation.

"Good organisations will prepare proactively to be able to respond to a workplace suicide incident. Each suicide death can have profound impacts on other workers, and it can lead to further mental ill-health.

IOSH has a range of resources to help organisations build a positive culture at work where staff can talk openly about their thoughts and feelings. We encourage everyone to download these today, on World Suicide Prevention Day.”

On the IOSH website, there is Working well, a guide on promoting health and wellbeing at work and the Occupational health management in the workplace guide. There are research reports including Return to work after common mental disorders and MENtal health first aid in The wORkplace (MENTOR). IOSH also has the Managing Occupational Health and Wellbeing course which provides practical advice and tools for managers to help create a healthy and productive place of work.

World Suicide Prevention Day is organised by the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and provides the opportunity for people, across the globe, to raise awareness of how to prevent suicide.