World Suicide Prevention Day

Saturday 10 September is World Suicide Prevention Day, and the statistics surrounding this subject can’t be overlooked; Over 800,000 people die from suicide every year; thirteen men die from suicide every day in the UK; it’s the leading cause of death for men aged 20 to 49 and the female suicide rate in the UK is at its highest since 2011.

The impact of unemployment

Unemployment plays a significant part in rising levels of suicide. A study carried out by Martin Bobak involving 30,000 people who were followed up six years later showed the risk of dying in men and women who were unemployed was 70% more than those who weren’t. In fact, other studies have seen direct correlation between rises in unemployment and rises in suicide rates.

Communication and care

This year’s World Suicide Prevention Day has the theme of communication and care. It’s crucial that we break down the barriers formed by the stigma surrounding mental health, and replace them with a culture of understanding. The workplace should be no exception to this. People in the UK work the longest hours of any country in the EU, totalling an average of 42 a week. As something that takes up a quarter of our week, work should bring social inclusion, self-worth and stimulating activity.

Enhancing mental wellbeing of your staff

Not only is unemployment a contributing factor to mental illness and suicide, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) research shows that more than two fifths of employers have seen an increase in workers reporting conditions such as depression or anxiety.

According to Mind, there are currently one in six people in work dealing with a mental health condition such as anxiety and depression, and without the correct support this can hold the risk of developing into something more serious in the long term. It makes good business sense for employers to support mental wellbeing in the work place – outcomes are enhanced when staff are healthy, motivated and focused, which has a direct impact on a company’s bottom line.

Employers play a crucial part in the recovery rate of an employee struggling with a mental illness, particularly if it’s a work related issue. It can be difficult for an employer to know what steps to take to ensure the mental wellbeing of their staff. However, just starting up a dialogue about mental health is a great start. This can come from recognising that mental health effects everyone, and that this can peak and trough on a daily basis. Many employees are hesitant to approach their employer about these issues. In fact, a recent survey showed that one in five people wouldn’t tell their boss if they were stressed at work. To avoid this, employers must make it clear that mental health will be treated the same as physical health.

Making Mental Health Your Business: 10 October 2016

If you’re interested in learning more about how to enhance mental wellbeing in the workplace, Enable will be holding an employer engagement event called ‘Making Mental Health Your Business’ that will explore this subject further.

Use Enable to employ your staff

If you’re interested in employing someone with a mental health need, please email: or phone: 01743 276 900.