Suicide prevention


September is Suicide Prevention Month, with September 10th being Suicide Prevention Day. Even after the day has passed this year, it is a topic which should always be at the forefront of our thoughts. On Suicide Prevention Day organisations and communities from around the world come together to raise awareness of how to create a world where fewer people die of suicide. Each year has a different theme, and this year was ‘working together to prevent suicide’.

Suicide ranks in the top 20 leading causes of death in the world each year for people of all ages. It is responsible for 800,000 deaths annually, which is one every 40 seconds. It is highest amongst men. Men in the UK are three times more likely to die by suicide than women. This is a worrying statistic as men are less likely to talk to someone about how they are feeling and seek help.

During the pandemic, the number of people suffering from depression has almost doubled. The Office of National Statistics (ONS) found that in June 2020, 19% of UK adults experienced depression, compared to 9.7% before the pandemic. Many factors from the COVID19 pandemic have affected the nation’s mental health.


Factors include:


  • Bereavement
  • Loss of social/active life
  • Isolation
  • Recession
  • Loss of employment


The government have introduced and implemented schemes to help the economy and tackle unemployment. Unfortunately they have not yet put in place schemes that recognise and tackle the mental health crisis that COVID19 has created.

Your employees may still be working remotely. If this is the case it is so important to check on them regularly. They may still be suffering even if they are completing tasks and keeping up to date with work. Working remotely can bring about negative impacts.


Negative impacts:


  • Difficulty switching off in the evenings
  • Strains on relationships with partners or children at home
  • Unable to take a break or step away when working
  • Higher levels of stress
  • Higher levels of anxiety
  • Increased feelings of loneliness and isolation
  • Difficulty separating home and work life


Whilst ensuring workplaces are safe to return is a key concern, the mental wellbeing of your employees should be too. It is important now more than ever for HR teams to focus on mental health and the wellbeing on your employees. Building a supportive environment that enables employees to seek help if they need it should be a priority.


What simple things can you and your employees do?


  • Reduce the workplace stigma around mental health
  • Encourage others to express emotions (especially men)
  • Check up on each other
  • Avoid trivialising men’s mental health, i.e. you sound like a woman


If you ever need to speak to someone, Samaritans have a 24/7 hotline which is free to use. You can call them on 116 123.

If you have any further questions or queries with regards to the content above, please don’t hesitate to contact the oneHR team today.


Twitter: @oneHR_

Sign up to our newsletter