Raising awareness of suicide prevention in the workplace will save lives, says Samaritans

In suicide prevention, awareness is everything. Understanding how suicidal thoughts and behaviours can manifest themselves, and how to intervene before it’s too late is imperative. Samaritans has worked with Business in the Community and Public Health England to produce two new resources, which should empower people to take responsibility and act to prevent needless deaths.

Reducing the risk of suicide: A toolkit for employers and Crisis management in the event of a suicide: A postvention toolkit for employers are a timely response to statistics released today by the Office for National Statistics, Suicide by Occupation 2011-2015.

Suicide is complex.  There is never a single reason or circumstance that leads to a person taking their own life, so all additional insight into suicidal thoughts and behaviours is to be welcomed. The more we know, the more we can target resources and support to those most at risk. We have a long-standing training and awareness raising partnership with the rail industry and deaths in the rail environment are falling. We are now working with the construction industry and have an ongoing programme of workplace training that can be accessed by any sector. We look forward to supporting more employers to look at what they can do to reduce deaths.

Suicide is also an inequality issue, as our report released last week, Dying from Inequality shows. Some of today’s findings echo what we know about increased risk in those working in low-skilled and low-paid professions. This is not right, it’s not fair, and it has to change.

We hope the statistics published today will encourage employers and employees across the board to ask themselves, what more can we be doing to ensure that if someone is struggling they can reach out for help in the workplace and beyond, assured that they will be taken seriously and offered accessible, high quality support. Experiencing difficult thoughts and feelings (something 1 in 5 adults in England say they have done) should be neither career nor life ending.

Samaritans CEO Ruth Sutherland

For further comments, interviews and more information, please contact press@samaritans.org or 020 8394 8300 or 07943 809 162.

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Notes to Editors