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Could suicide impact your workplace?

August 2, 2016

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Could suicide impact your workplace?

August 2, 2016

 

Each year 42,773 Americans die by suicide. 

 

And there are 40-100% more attempts than actual suicides. 

 

 

 

Unfortunately, many workplaces are impacted by suicide either through actual employee suicides or through the loved ones of those employees.  An article from Industry Week and Mental Health Works stated that lost earnings from suicide cost workplaces $1.3 billion per year.  For each suicide that is prevented, an average of $1,182,559 is saved, including $3,875 in medical expenses and $1,178,684 in lost productivity. 

The majority of people who die by suicide are of working age, yet most workplaces are relatively unprepared to help employees who are struggling with suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts, or the aftermath of a suicide death. 

Any company can make its place of employment more suicide safe. 

  1. Offer training on stress management and coping skills that will improve interpersonal and social competency.

  2. Resolve workplace issues quickly and effectively to enhance feelings of personal control and decrease feelings of hopelessness.

  3. Create a caring work environment.

  4. Reduce stigma that accompanies the topic of suicide and mental health.

  5. Encourage the use of EAP services or community counseling.

  6. Offer evidence-based suicide prevention education.

 

Virtually everyone can benefit from suicide intervention skills training. Many members of the public at large learn CPR—and yet the average person is far more likely to encounter someone at risk of suicide than someone who needs resuscitation.

We recommend a two level suicide prevention training system. 

 

The first level is encouraged for all employees.  It is called safeTALK.  safeTALK is a half-day alertness training that prepares anyone over the age of 15, regardless of prior experience or training, to become a suicide-alert helper. It teaches employees to recognize signs that someone might be having thoughts of suicide, and then gives the employees tools to connect the person with suicidal thoughts to the needed resources and interventions to keep them safe.

 

The second level of training is a 2-day training that we recommend for supervisors, HR personnel, and others who may be interested in taking that extra step.  It is called ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training). Virtually anyone age 16 or older, regardless of prior experience or training, can become an ASIST-trained caregiver. During the two-day interactive session, participants learn to intervene and help prevent the immediate risk of suicide.

 

The trainings were developed by LivingWorks in 1983 and regularly updated to reflect improvements in knowledge and practice.  ASIST is the world’s leading suicide intervention workshop.  The workshops can be set up at the worksite or an outside location. 

Nikki Penn is qualified to teach both levels of training.  If you have interest or questions regarding the trainings, please feel free to contact the office at 870-793-0071 or email consulting@nikkipenn.com.

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