September 10, 2022

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Workplace wellbeing charity says communication key in suicide prevention

“No one should be afraid to ask or tell someone that they are struggling,” says Mates in Mind Patron.

The charity, Mates in Mind, which aims to promote improved mental health in the workplace, says organisations must encourage conversations around mental health to help prevent suicide. 

The message to employers comes as World Suicide Prevention Day is marked (September 10), an opportunity – it says – for employers to establish a safe and healthy workplace, which can play a vital role in suicide prevention. 

With an average of two construction workers taking their own lives every day, Mates in Mind is encouraging companies to break the stigma and silence around mental ill-health. 

Michelle Wiles, Patron of the charity and whose own husband took his own life following a severe bout of stress is adamant that construction firms must quickly establish clear lines of communication among their employers. “…it’s important to reiterate that early intervention is key regarding reducing the suicide rate within construction. It’s vital that individuals who are struggling with their mental health feel they are able to talk about how they are feeling and seek support before reaching that crisis point.  

“In 2019, my husband Chris suffered a mental health crisis brought on by severe stress, which developed at rapid speed and led to him taking his own life. No one should go through what Chris went through, and no family should go through what we have. Chris never experienced any mental health illness previously so I can’t emphasise enough that if it can happen to him it can happen to anyone.  

“No one should be afraid to ask or tell someone that they are struggling. Please do know that you can talk and there is someone there that understands your struggles, reach out to a manager or someone you trust if you are struggling, you are not a failure, there is always a solution.” 

Mates in Mind has created a dedicated resource hub for employers which includes information on how to stimulate conversations around mental health, which can be accessed here

What makes us susceptible to burnout?

In this episode  of the Safety & Health Podcast, ‘Burnout, stress and being human’, Heather Beach is joined by Stacy Thomson to discuss burnout, perfectionism and how to deal with burnout as an individual, as management and as an organisation.

We provide an insight on how to tackle burnout and why mental health is such a taboo subject, particularly in the workplace.


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