On World Suicide Prevention Day[i] on 10th September, an annual awareness day organised by the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP), Howden Employee Benefits & Wellbeing is urging employers to put measures in place to support employees with mental health problems.

According to ISAP, suicide is amongst the top 20 leading causes of death globally for people of all ages. It is responsible for over 800,000 deaths, which equates to one suicide every 40 seconds.

In the UK, new figures from the Office for National Statistics[ii] highlighted that the rate of suicide has hit a 16-year high following half a decade of decline. 6,507 suicides were registered last year, marking a 12 per cent rise on the previous year and the highest rate since 2002.

Males continued to account for three-quarters of suicide deaths in 2018, with 4,903 deaths compared with 1,604 female deaths. However, suicide deaths by females under 25 saw a considerable rise, reaching the highest rate on record for their age group.

Kim Horsfall, Senior Consultant at Howden Employee Benefits & Wellbeing says, “Mental illness is a growing concern for employers with rising numbers of people suffering and taking their own lives. While many employers recognise that they have a responsibility to support the mental wellbeing of their employees, there is much more that can be done.

“The key is breaking the stigma around discussing mental illness and developing a culture where people feel comfortable seeking help. On World Suicide Prevention Day we want employers to consider how they can develop a mental health strategy that promotes open communication about mental health and check if they have support measures in place for people who feel they can’t cope.

“As well as providing access to services such as counselling, mental health first aiders and employee assistance programmes (EAPs), employers could take advantage of technology. More companies for example are giving employees access to online GP services or using apps, like our recently launched Havensrock Thrive app, to offer specific mental health support.”

Havensrock Thrive is a cost-effective and NHS approved app which is available to employers who want to offer employees a practical, discrete app to monitor their mental health.

Developed by psychiatrists and psychologists, Havensrock Thrive helps employees to prevent and manage stress, anxiety and other common mental health conditions. It offers tools and techniques that can be accessed 24/7, as well as confidential and dedicated practical advice and emotional support.

Any employee who needs additional support has immediate access to one-on-one support from specialist RedArc mental health nurses, in an exclusive arrangement that is not available anywhere else. The RedArc nurses offer long-term support to help employees recover as quickly as possible and can also refer them to other services, if appropriate.

Kim Horsfall adds, “By empowering employees to take responsibility for their mental health and giving them access to tailored support, Havensrock Thrive is a great, cost effective solution that can help employees manage their mental wellbeing and ensure the early detection or immediate intervention if mental health issues occur. Giving people access to a qualified mental health nurse at a time when they really need them, could prevent someone taking their own life if they ever get to the stage where they are having suicidal thoughts.”

To find out more visit https://www.havensrock.com/thrive/


[i] https://www.iasp.info/wspd2019/

[ii] https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/suicide-uk-rise-deaths-mental-health-office-national-statistics-a9089631.html