Hello, CCSHRM Members, and Happy September!
Fall is almost here which is closely followed by the holiday season and with it, added stress about family and bills. Did you know that according to OSHA, suicide is a leading cause of death among working-age adults in the United States?
September is Suicide Prevention Month and OSHA is urging employers to promote available resources to their workforce. These resources include a new three-digit dialing code (988) and an online option (988lifeline.org/chat) to talk with a professional. Employees can also text ‘Hello’ to 741741 to connect with a crisis counselor 24/7 using text messaging or WhatsApp.
Employers can help reduce the stigma of mental health and promote safe and healthy workplaces by showing their commitment to helping employees. This may also offer a benefit to the employer by way of improved workplace safety, higher morale, increased productivity, and reduced attendance issues. We should strive to create a workplace environment that fosters open communication and a sense of belonging. By providing resources and programs that promote employee well-being, we also support work-life balance, something incredibly important to the current workforce.
OSHA suggests that if you are concerned about a co-worker or employee, you speak with them privately, and listen without judgment. Supervisors should also be aware of this and should know how to get an employee help if they are in crisis.
Below are 5 things to know about preventing suicide:
- Be Aware: When you work closely with others, you may sense when something is wrong
- Pay Attention: Know the warning signs of suicide (changes in behavior, mood, etc.)
- Reach Out: Ask “are you ok”, encourage the use of the EAP or a mental health professional
- Take Action: If you believe someone is at immediate risk, stay with them until you can get them help, such as by contacting emergency services or the 988 Suicide and Crisis Hotline
- Learn More: Call or text the 988 Suicide and Crisis hotline and visit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (www.afsp.org) to learn more about risk factors, warning signs, and what you can do to help. You can also find a list of websites dedicated to suicide prevention, including the CDC and the Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention, by going to https://www.osha.gov/preventingsuicides
Thank you for all you do to take care of your employees!