September is Suicide Prevention Month and it is important to recognize that work-related stress can have a severe impact on mental health and, without proper support, may lead to suicide.
Historically, suicide, mental health, and well-being have been underrepresented in workplace health and safety efforts, but this is changing. Some European countries like France are holding employers accountable for creating toxic workplaces and carrying out management practices that contributed to worker suicides.
Employers can play a vital role in suicide prevention by identifying risk factors and improving worker mental health and well-being. Workplace factors that can contribute to an increased risk of suicide include:
- Low job security, low pay, and job stress
- Access to lethal means – the ability to obtain things like medications and firearms
- Work organization factors such as long work hours, shift work
- Workplace bullying
Employees may spend more face-to-face time with coworkers and managers than their own family and friends. These reasons may contribute to an employee showing suicidal signs in the workplace. Look for these warning signs of suicide risk in the workplace.
Last year, the U.S. Surgeon General released a Framework for Workplace Mental Health and Well-being. The Framework provides a roadmap that workplaces can use to support mental health and well-being centering strategies around five essential components.
OSHA (Occupational Safety Health Administration) offers a poster that shares 5 Things You Should Know about Suicide Prevention in the workplace.
And consider becoming Bell Seal certified. The Bell Seal for Workplace Mental Health national certification program recognizes employers committed to creating mentally healthy workplaces. Tampa Bay Thrives is here to help your company achieve this designation. Contact us at email@example.com.