Preventing suicide – the role of business highlighted

Preventing suicide –  the role of business highlighted

Suffolk Chamber of Commerce is urging local businesses to be more aware of their role in preventing suicide among their staff and signposting support for those who may have suicidal thoughts.

Earlier in the year, Suffolk Chamber teamed up with Public Health Suffolk to improve how businesses support their staff. The Chamber has set up an online resource on its website aimed at providing Suffolk organisations with a definitive list of issues which affect health and well being and the supports available to help address them.

Underpinning this campaign is Public Health Suffolk’s Five Ways to Wellbeing which provides general ideas as to how we can all boost our mental and physical strength.

In June the campaign focusses upon suicide prevention.

Suffolk Chamber’s chief executive, John Dugmore explained “as a society the UK is getting better at talking openly about death, and it is slowly getting better at talking about mental health. But there are signs it still struggles to talk about suicide, self-harm and risk-taking.

“Businesses, which play such an important role as employers but also as community leaders are well-placed to help provide support and signposting services.”

There are two concerns that this month’s campaign aims to promote:

  • How does the workplace support someone who is distressed or suicidal (whether or not they have a mental health problem)?
  • How can we make sure the workplace itself is not causing distress, or else not aggravating it?

Certain occupations, or kinds of work, have a higher risk of suicide. These include primary teachers, doctors, vets and nursing staff, agricultural workers, and low-skilled male labourers.

Abdul Razzaq, director of Public Health Suffolk, added “I am pleased that workplace wellbeing encourages people to talk about suicide and crisis management and bereavement.

“Our strategy Suffolk Lives Matter recognises the impact on work colleagues as well as families and the wider community. So if one person sees this web page or reads a resource or has a conversation they might have avoided or never even considered, we have made an excellent start in saving lives and in avoiding preventable deaths.”

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